LEXINGTON, Ky. – Louisville quelled concerns about handling Stanford’s tough defense with a fast tempo and athleticism that consistently converted opportunities.
The top-seeded Cardinals also imposed their will defensively on Stanford, resulting in yet another decisive victory to move within a win of reaching the Final Four.
Asia Durr had 24 points, Myisha Hines-Allen added 17 and Louisville rolled past No. 4 seed Stanford 86-59 on Friday night in the women’s NCAA Tournament Lexington Region semifinal.
Arica Carter had 13 points and Jazmine Jones 10 for the Cardinals (35-2), who trailed for just 53 seconds to win their 10th consecutive game and advance to their first regional final since 2014 and fourth since 2009. Louisville thrived offensively, shooting 52 percent and building a lead that reached 27 points with 1:24 remaining to finish their third consecutive NCAA Tournament rout.
And to think, Louisville coach Jeff Walz wasn’t sure how his team would respond to Stanford’s pressure.
“We knew coming in we were going to have our hands full,” the coach said. “We knew were going to have to play extremely well, and I thought we did that.”
Hines-Allen made 8 of 15 baskets and surpassed 2,000 career points to move into third place all-time.
“Not a lot of people can get that,” said the senior forward, who also grabbed five rebounds. “Angel McCoughtry, Shoni Schimmel in this program have gotten it. Just to be with those type of players is amazing, and I know Asia Durr is about to be up there, too, soon.”
Brittany McPhee had 15 points and Dijonai Carrington 14 for Stanford, which hoped to upset a tournament top seed for the third straight March in Lexington after knocking out Notre Dame the previous two years.
The Cardinal bench outscored Louisville 23-13, but Stanford committed 19 turnovers leading to 22 points.
“They have a combination of athleticism and aggressiveness, size,” coach Tara VanDerveer said of Louisville. “They really extended their defense on us, and I think that we – intellectually, we knew that was going to happen, but you can’t –it’s hard to kind of talk to people about this is what’s going to happen.
“And when it happens, it’s a little bit different.”
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