March 30, 2019 / 6:46 AM / 3 months ago

Louisville downs Oregon State, earns date with UConn

Mar 29, 2019; Albany, NY, USA; Louisville Cardinals forward Bionca Dunham (33) drives to the basket as Oregon State Beavers guard Madison Washington (3) defends during the first half in the semifinals of the Albany regional in the women's 2019 NCAA Tournament at the Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Top-seeded Louisville choked off fourth-seeded Oregon State on Friday night with defense, easing to a 61-44 win in an NCAA Women’s Tournament regional semifinal in Albany, N.Y.

The Cardinals (32-3), who will meet second-seeded Connecticut on Sunday for a ticket to the Final Four on April 5 in Tampa, were led by Sam Fuehring’s 17 points and nine rebounds. Asia Durr also scored 17 points despite making only 5 of 12 shots, and she contributed eight boards and four assists.

But the big story was what Louisville did when the Beavers (26-8) had the ball. The Cardinals limited Oregon State to 17-of-56 shooting (30.4 percent) from the field and allowed only two 3-pointers on 22 attempts. That more than canceled out a 41-33 Beavers advantage in rebounding.

Mikayla Pivec scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Beavers, but the rest of her teammates combined to make only 11 of 42 field-goal attempts.

The Albany Region final will be a rematch of a Jan. 31 contest in Louisville, where the Cardinals subdued the Huskies 78-69 to snap a 17-game losing streak against them that dated back to their first meeting in 1993.

Louisville wasted little time putting its stamp on this one. Durr scored six points in a 13-4 run over the game’s first 4:02, a sequence that ended with a 3-pointer and a layup from Fuehring. The Cardinals settled for a 21-15 lead after 10 minutes.

Louisville’s defense ruled the next two quarters, limiting Oregon State to a combined 13 points in that span. The Beavers endured droughts of 2:59 in the second quarter and 4:30 to start the third quarter, keeping them from taking advantage of Louisville’s inability to add to the lead.

Eventually, the Cardinals found the range again, opening up a 44-28 advantage after three periods by rattling off eight straight points in a 1:37 span late in the period. Durr contributed consecutive jumpers, while Bionca Dunham and Dana Evans each added transition layups.

—Field Level Media

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