LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville women's basketball team kept flexing its defensive muscles on Thursday night, shutting down No. 15 Syracuse with a swarming perimeter defense and balanced offense.
The Cards held the Orange, who average 10 made three-pointers per game, to just six threes and 32 percent shooting to roll to a 76-51 victory at the KFC Yum! Center.
Paired with No. 2 Notre Dame's loss at No. 25 Miami, and No. 9 N.C. State's loss to Florida State, the Cardinals now find themselves atop the ACC standings.
"There's a lot of games left to be played," was Louisville coach Jeff Walz's only response.
Louisville outscored Syracuse 25-3 off turnovers and went 10-27 from three-point range.
Asia Durr led the Cardinals with 15 points, and scored the Cardinals' first 10 points as they jumped to an early 10-2, lead, which it extended to 18-4.
"We were really moving the ball well," Durr said. "But the big emphasis was on defense. We just had to keep focusing on their shooters and staying disciplined against a great point guard."
Syracuse's Tiana Mangakahia was voted first-team all-ACC in the preseason and has a triple-double to her credit this season, but managed just 1-for-11 shooting before fouling out with five points, five rebounds and six assists.
Kylee Shook and Dana Evans added 12 each. Shook also pulled down 11 rebounds.
"I got on Kylee at halftime because I wasn't happy with the way she was playing," Walz said. "But I was really pleased with how she responded. She's really grown as a player and a person. She didn't sprint the court in the first half and you can't do that against Syracuse."
Louisville outrebounded Syracuse 46-38 and 22 of their 27 field goals came off assists, with four players dishing out four assists.
It was the most lopsided loss of the season for Syracuse, which was picked to finish third in the ACC in the preseason and lost at No. 3-ranked Oregon by only two. The Orange still ranked No. 10 in the women's basketball Ratings Percentage Index coming into the game.
"It's a big RPI boost, for sure," Walz said. "They're a good basketball team. We played very well. We practiced great all week. Our tempo is very good.
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