Hailey Van Lith

Hailey Van Lith drives in the second half in Louisville's loss to Ohio State.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Louisville women’s basketball team began Wednesday night’s nationally televised matchup against No. 4-ranked Ohio State like they were ready to make a return to the Top 10.

They ended it likely headed out of the Top 25.

After having a chance to go up 17 in the first quarter, Louisville could never shake Ohio State, and in the second half, the Buckeyes put on a display like few teams have put on in the KFC Yum! Center since the heyday of some of Geno Auriemma’s UConn teams.

Ohio State outscored Louisville by 10 in the third quarter and 17 in the fourth to storm to a 96-77 victory before a crowd of 8,259.

The Cardinals committed 24 turnovers, which Ohio State turned into 33 points, to fuel the blowout. But defense in the second half was just a big a problem for the Cardinals. Ohio State shot 73 percent in the fourth quarter and 67 percent for the half, making 11 of their final 14 shots.

“Our defense is not where it’s been in the past,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “Defense and rebounding. . . . So we’re going to have to address that and look at some different things. . . . I just apologize to everybody who came out here tonight. It’s my fault for not having them ready to play. They’re a great group of kids, I’ve just got to do a better job with them. We’re going to keep working and keep grinding, so that what people see is better, I promise you.”

Hailey Van Lith had 20 points and 10 rebounds, but also 8 turnovers. Morgan Jones added 15 points and CC Carr 14.

Ohio State had three players top the 20-point mark, led by Taylor Mikesell with 24. Jacy Sheldon added 22 points and Rebeka Mikulasikova had 21.

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