The KFC Yum! Center is becoming a familiar place for the Cardinals during the postseason.
The No. 4-seed University of Louisville women’s basketball team, playing at home in the NCAA Championship for the fourth time in five years, faces No. 13-seed Chattanooga in the first round on Saturday on ESPN2 at 1:30 p.m. The Cardinals competed in their home venue in the opening rounds in 2013 and 2016.
Louisville (27-7) defeated Chattanooga earlier this season 63-47 at home, where it has posted a 16-2 record this season. The Cardinals tallied 18 assists on 25 made baskets and went 10 of 10 from the free throw line. Louisville was solid defensively, holding Chattanooga to 29.8 percent shooting and forcing the Mocs into 19 turnovers.
Mariya Moore paced the Cardinals with nine points, Louisville’s only victory this year without a double-digit scorer. She added seven assists in the win. Myisha Hines-Allen totaled seven points and 10 rebounds, and Jazmine Jones contributed eight points and four steals.
Queen Alford finished with a game-high 20 points, while Jasmine Joyner collected 15 rebounds, seven blocks, and three steals.
Louisville head coach Jeff Walz, who is 21-8 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, knows both teams have grown since the Nov. 21 meeting.
“Well, there’s a lot more experience from both groups,” Walz said. “We’ve had a good two and a half months of really trying to put some things together offensively, defensively.
“They’re very disciplined in what they’re doing. They’re focused. They know who is supposed to get shots from where. Offensively, I think they’ve improved. Defensively, I think they’ve been solid the entire year, when I go back and watch them on film. As the players said, they’ve got the leading shot blocker in the country [Jasmine Joyner]. She does a fantastic job of erasing any mistakes their guards might have.”
Asia Durr continues to be the Cardinals’ go-to threat. She is averaging a team-leading 18.8 points, with team highs of 108 3-pointers and 40 steals. Hines-Allen is producing 13.8 points and 9.2 rebounds, and Moore is logging 12.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.8 assists.
Chattanooga is coming off its fifth-consecutive Southern Conference Tournament championship.
Joyner leads the team in scoring (13.2), rebounding (10.6), and steals (1.3). She ranks first in the country in total blocked shots, with 122 on the year. Chelsey Shumpert is second in scoring, totaling 10.9 points per game.
Collectively, Chattanooga ranks sixth nationally in blocked shots (187) and fourth in blocked shots per game (6.0). The team is 17th in the country in fewest turnovers (386) and first in personal fouls per game (9.5).
GAME FACTS – Chattanooga at Louisville
Date: Saturday, March 18
Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
Site: KFC Yum! Center (22,000), Louisville, Ky.
Television: ESPN2 will broadcast the game, with Dave O’Brien (play-by-play), Doris Burke (analyst), and Kara Lawson (analyst) calling the action.
Radio: WKRD 790 AM will broadcast the game, with Nick Curran (play-by-play) and Adrienne Johnson (analyst) calling the action.
Series History: Chattanooga leads the series 5-2 (2-1 in Louisville, 2-1 in Chattanooga, 1-0 neutral). Louisville defeated Chattanooga 63-47 on Nov. 21, 2016, in Louisville, Ky.
Next UofL Game: Should UofL advance, it faces the winner of No. 5-seed Tennessee/No. 12-seed Dayton, Monday, March 20, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Ky., Time TBA (TV TBA)
Asst. Sports Information Director
University of Louisville Athletics