CRAWFORD | After early punch, Louisville women put up a fight be - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | After early punch, Louisville women put up a fight before falling to No. 1 UConn 69-58

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WDRB photo by Eric Crawford WDRB photo by Eric Crawford

STORRS, Conn. (WDRB) – Well, except for that 22-1 run right at the beginning of the game, the No. 4-ranked University of Louisville women’s basketball team did pretty well at No. 1 Connecticut Monday night, despite falling 69-58.

That’s not being facetious.

Louisville coach Jeff Walz said plainly, Louisville was going into Connecticut’s Gampel Pavilion to beat the Huskies in their ESPN2 showdown.

But given that only four teams have done that since 2000, and that UConn came into the game with 18 straight wins against Top 5 opponents, there are secondary goals. One of them is to try to acclimate to the level and style of one of the most dominant teams in college sports.

After trailing 24-6 at the end of the first quarter and going more than eight minutes without making a basket, the Cardinals did that. They played their tempo in the second quarter (and were outscore 18-16), and were solid again in the third (outscoring UConn 18-15). In fact, after the disastrous first quarter, U of L outscored UConn 52-45 the rest of the way.

In the fourth, Louisville cut its deficit to 13 and forced UConn coach Geno Auriemma to call a timeout with just over five minutes to play, up by 14. With 1:25 to paly, the Cardinals trailed by 12.

You play games in these impossible situations if you want to shrink the impossible down to size. Louisville faced the giant in women’s college basketball Monday night in the first quarter, and was overwhelmed. Over the final three quarters, it played the Huskies on somewhat equal terms, on their home court.

It’s not a win. It is a game you could take into an NCAA Tournament meeting and make some use of. If he couldn’t get a win, Walz wanted to walk away with at least that. Louisville shot 51.1 percent in the second half and held UConn to 34.4.

Louisville got 20 points from Asia Durr and 13 points and 12 rebounds from Myisha Hines Allen. UConn was led by Katie Lou Samuelson with 26 points and Gabby Williams with 12 points and 15 rebounds. 

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