Durr leads No. 3 Louisville women past No. 10 NC State 92-62
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Asia Durr believed something special was possible the way her shots fell from behind the arc.
The Louisville senior equaled her school record thanks to frequent chances provided by generous teammates.
Durr scored 47 points, the first 22 during No. 3 Louisville’s 36-point opening quarter in a 92-62 victory over No. 10 North Carolina State on Thursday night.
Durr made an Atlantic Coast Conference-record 11 3-pointers and also set a career high with 17 attempts. The consensus All-America guard was 6 of 8 from long range in the first quarter alone as the Cardinals (26-2, 13-2) started 14 of 19 (74 percent) from the field. Durr also scored 47 points at Ohio State in November 2017.
She exited the game with 3:31 remaining to a loud, standing ovation.
“It was so much fun,” said Durr, who became Louisville’s No. 2 career scorer earlier this season. “I had a great game, but I have to give credit to my team. They were great. They found me on the floor, they made great passes and told me to keep on going.”
Durr had as many points (28) as the Wolfpack (24-4, 11-4) at halftime and Louisville quickly put the matchup of the league’s Nos. 2 and 3 teams out of reach. She finished 17 of 27 from the field and the Cardinals shot 52 percent, hitting 15 of 34 3-pointers.
Louisville’s 23 assists on 36 baskets also pleased coach Jeff Walz, especially because many passes found their hottest player.
“That’s what excites me,” he said. “Her teammates said, ‘She’s on,’ and they got her the basketball. There wasn’t a lot of one-on-one. It was teammates getting her open, setting good screens. She did what can do, and that’s putting the ball in the basket.”
Dana Evans added 15 points off the bench, and Sam Fuehring had 12 with 12 rebounds for Louisville.
Elissa Cunane had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Kiara Leslie and Kayla Jones each added 15 points for N.C. State. The Wolfpack outrebounded Louisville 36-35 but shot 38 percent in sustaining their most lopsided loss this season.
SEND OFF, SORT OF
Durr and fellow seniors Fuehring and Arica Carter were honored before the game and emotional afterward. But it wasn’t their official home finales as Louisville will likely host the first two rounds of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Louisville reinforced its top-five status. N.C. State needs to beat Miami to have a chance at staying in the top 10.
N.C. State: The blowout concluded a 3-4 month for the Wolfpack that featured three losses against ranked schools. Besides failing to slow Durr, they were overwhelmed on both ends from the start and never climbed from that early deficit.
“Coach Walz had ’em ready to play and we just dug that big hole,” coach Wes Moore said. “The last three quarters we got outscored by seven (combined points), but when you get outscored by 23 in the first quarter, it’s not going to be a real good night. Especially on the road against a team like this.”
Louisville: The Cardinals had already claimed one of four double-byes in the conference tournament but can still clinch a share of the regular-season title with Notre Dame. The hot shooting start certainly helped their quest, and they didn’t cool off much afterward in surpassing 50 percent for the second consecutive game. They also committed just five turnovers.
North Carolina State: Hosts No. 15 Miami in its regular-season finale Sunday.
Louisville: Concludes the regular season Sunday at Pittsburgh.