March 22, 2019 / 6:21 PM / 6 months ago

Louisville pounds Robert Morris in opener

Two-time ACC Player of the Year Asia Durr scored 19 points as the host Louisville Cardinals routed the Robert Morris Colonials 69-34 in a first-round NCAA Tournament game on Friday afternoon.

Sam Fuehring posted a double-double for the Cardinals with 19 points and 11 rebounds. She made 9 of 9 shots from the floor, including one 3-pointer.

Louisville never trailed and put the game away with a 27-0 first-half run. Robert Morris went nearly 15 minutes without scoring a basket.

The top-seeded Cardinals (30-3), who made it to the Final Four last year, are playing in their ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament. Next up, they will face eighth-seeded Michigan on Sunday for the right to move to the Albany Region semifinals.

Robert Morris (22-11), the Northeast Conference champions and a No. 16 seed, was led by Natalie Villaflor’s 13 points. Junior center Nneka Ezeigbo added nine points and nine rebounds. Ezeigbo is the reigning Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and league tournament MVP.

The Colonials ranked 13th in the nation in scoring defense, but they couldn’t contain the Cardinals.

Louisville played without coach Jeff Walz and 5-8 guard Arica Carter, but both of them should return for the Cardinals’ next game on Sunday.

Walz was suspended by the NCAA for one game after he directed profane comments last year at committee members and staff. Walz watched Friday’s game from a sports bar across the street from Louisville’s arena and was banned from contact with his team during the contest.

Cardinals associate head coach Stephanie Norman directed the team during Walz’s absence.

Carter, a three-year starter, sat out due to a leg injury. She is Louisville’s fourth-leading scorer at 8.9 points per game.

Louisville made its first five shots, getting off to a 13-4 start. The Cardinals led 21-4 after the first quarter, and the Colonials were scoreless for the final 8:20 of the period.

The Cardinals pushed their lead to 37-15 at halftime and 60-23 after three quarters.

—Field Level Media

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