By Ira Green, University of Louisville Staff Report
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville women’s basketball team returned to the Associated Press Poll’s top 25 on Jan. 11.
Ranked No. 23, Louisville (12-5, 4-0 ACC) is unbeaten in its last nine games after upsetting No. 18/16 Duke at home on Sunday, its second victory over an AP top-25 team in the span. The Cardinals opened conference play with a 79-69 win over then-No. 15 Florida State on Jan. 1.
Since beginning the stretch with a home victory against IUPUI on Dec. 13, Louisville is outscoring its foes 75.2-58.6 and shooting 45 percent from the field and 71 from the free throw line. The Cardinals, averaging 17.7 assists per game, are forcing 21.0 turnovers per game and boast a plus-8.8 margin on the boards.
Louisville’s defense has suffocated its opponents, especially over the last three conference games. Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Duke each shot below 40 percent, and the Hokies and Blue Devils turned the ball over 21 and 22 times, respectively.
One of the more impressive feats during the stretch is that Louisville is scoring 26.8 points per game off turnovers and 18.1 points on second-chance opportunities.
Individually, Myisha Hines-Allen is pacing the Cardinals at 17.1 points and 8.2 rebounds through nine contests. Briahanna Jackson is averaging 13.7 points and 2.2 steals, and Mariya Moore is contributing 13.6 points and 5.7 rebounds. Cortnee Walton is pacing the team with 8.4 rebounds during the streak, and freshman Asia Durr is scoring 8.7 points off the bench.
Louisville had appeared in the AP top 25 for 81-consecutive weeks before exiting the poll on Nov. 30.
The Cardinals resume ACC play at Virginia on Thursday at 7 p.m. before facing NC State on Sunday at 2 p.m. Both games can be heard on WKRD 790 AM.