CRAWFORD | Louisville fights off Duke run, Durr injury, to win 17th straight, 66-60
Louisville held on late for a 66-60 victory over No. 17 Duke for its school-record 17th straight victory.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – If it’s a script, Jeff Walz has seen enough of it. Lately, his No. 3-ranked University of Louisville women’s basketball team has a habit of building double-digit leads, then needing heart-stopping finishes.
They led No. 17 Duke by 14 entering the fourth quarter, but when Sam Fuehring went to the line with less than a minute to play, they were clinging to a three-point lead. Fuehring nailed both of hers, and the Cards got a stop and another free throw to preserve a 66-60 victory before a KFC Yum! Center crowd of 8,101.
But the margin wasn’t all that was uncomfortable.
With 7:55 to play in the first half, Durr went down with a sprained ankle, and the building went silent. She had to be carried off the court, but returned nearly six minutes later. The Cards led by 12 when she left, they led by 10 when she came back.
"I'm very happy to have the win," Walz said. "Sam Fuehring came up big for us, with some big free throws and big rebounds. . . . But I told our players at midcourt after the game, I'm going to hate it if we have to take a loss for them to realize we have to play a complete 40 minutes."
This was a victory of depth. Durr had 22 points, including eight after returning from her injury. The Cards also got 13 points and 10 rebounds from Myisha Hines-Allen and 12 points from Fuehring.
Louisville made just one of its final seven shots, but held Duke scoreless for the final 2:54. That was a marked difference from the rest of the game, when Duke shot better than 50 percent from the field, including 71.4 percent in the first half, though they trailed 44-33 at the break.
"If we played defense the way we've played it all year, we'd have been up 20 at the half," Walz said. "But we played our worst half of defense of the season."
The win improves Louisville to 17-0, the longest winning streak in school history.
"I'm challenging some players," Walz said. "But I'm not sure they want to be challenged. ... We need people to work harder in practice to separate themselves."
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