No. 7 Louisville downs Miami, sits alone atop ACC standings

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              Louisville head coach Jeff Walz shouts instructions to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Highland Heights, Ky., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. Louisville won 85-57. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Louisville went to the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Miami took a step in a very different direction.

Dana Evans scored 16 points, Kylee Shook scored seven of her 14 points in the opening minutes to set the tone and No. 7 Louisville handed Miami its worst loss in 13 years by overwhelming the Hurricanes 87-41 on Thursday night.

The Cardinals (15-1, 4-0 ACC) are now alone atop the league standings, taking the outright lead after No. 9 North Carolina State lost earlier Thursday against North Carolina.

“We aren’t going to have too many of these 87-41 games, in my opinion,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “I think it’s going to be a grind.”

Nothing was a grind Thursday. Louisville started the game on a 9-0 run, forced Miami into missing its first 16 shots and held the Hurricanes to 20% shooting on the night. The Cardinals shot 56%, won the rebound battle 49-33 and had 25 assists on 35 field goals.

“The No. 1 thing that I just can’t handle about this game is when it got hard, we hid,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “And that is unacceptable. Never has been acceptable.”

It was Miami’s worst loss since a 111-53 defeat to then-No. 1 Maryland on Jan. 10, 2007.

Yacine Diop scored 15 for the Cardinals and Jazmine Jones added 10 for Louisville.

Miami was without top player Beatrice Mompremier — a 6-foot-4 senior averaging 16.3 points and 10.4 rebounds — for the second straight game with a foot injury. Brianna Jackson led the Hurricanes (9-6, 1-3) with 13 points.

Shook scored Louisville’s first seven points, then started a fast-break score with a blocked shot for the Cardinals to cap the game-opening 9-0 run.

They were off and running.

“Personally, I felt like I needed to go out and be aggressive,” Shook said. “I feel like I haven’t been as aggressive as I’ve needed to be for this team.”

TIP-INS

Louisville: The Cardinals are now 90-10 in their last 100 games and 107-1 in their last 108 games — dating back to December 2015 — against unranked opponents. … It was the third time this season that Louisville led wire-to-wire, and the second such game in the Cardinals’ last three outings. … Walz is now four wins shy of 350 for his career. He’s 346-101.

Miami: The Hurricanes have already played five teams in the AP Top 25. The Hurricanes are scheduled to face only two more in the final 14 games of the regular season. … At 9-6, this is Miami’s slowest 15-game start since also going 9-6 to open the 2013-14 season. The Hurricanes were 7-8 at this point in 2007-08. … Miami has lost three straight, matching its longest slide in the last five seasons.

BACK-TO-BACK

The Hurricanes played then-No. 8 Florida State on Sunday before hosting the seventh-ranked Cardinals on Thursday. It marked Miami’s first time facing consecutive Top 10 opponents since losing to No. 3 Duke and beating No. 6 North Carolina over Jan. 30-Feb. 2, 2014.

WINNING RESOLUTION

Louisville is 3-0 so far in 2020, has won its last nine January games dating back to last season and is 22-2 in its last 24 games during the first month on the calendar.

UP NEXT

Louisville: Host Wake Forest on Sunday.

Miami: Host Syracuse on Sunday.