ATLANTA (AP) Louisville point guard Asia Durr made herself at home in her hometown Thursday night with 38 points, but it took teammate Myisha Hines-Allen’s driving layup with 1.9 seconds remaining for the third-ranked Cardinals to squeak out a 74-71 win at Georgia Tech.
Durr, a 5-foot-10 junior from the western Atlanta suburb of Douglasville, is used to scoring; she set the Louisville record of 47 points in a game against Ohio State earlier this season.
She’s not accustomed to playing college ball in front of family, friends and St. Pius X Catholic High School head coach Kyle Snipes and her former teammates. Many of them sat behind the bench for Louisville (15-0).
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”Every game is special to me when I have a chance to go out and compete with my teammates,” she said after making 15 of 25 shots, including going 4-of-8 from 3-point range and 4 of 5 free throws. ”It’s definitely special when I can see all my high school friends, and family.”
Despite Durr’s heroics, which included a 20-point second quarter in which the Cardinals outscored Georgia Tech 33-14, the Yellow Jackets tied the game at 71 on a stick-back shot by senior Zaire O’Neil with 5.5 seconds left to put a scare into Louisville.
Tech (11-3) was led by reserve guard Kayla Pugh’s 17 points while freshman guard Kierra Fletcher and Francesca Pan added 15 each, and O’Neil pitched in 15 points and nine rebounds.
”The second quarter, obviously getting outscored 33-14, there were some tough plays,” Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. ”Durr had 20 points. You can’t let somebody have 20 points in a quarter no matter how good they are, but I’m proud of my team.”
Tech trailed 46-34 at halftime, yet O’Neil scored her team’s final eight points, all on layups, for the tie.
After a timeout by the Cardinals, Louisville’s Arica Carter inbounded from the left sideline to Hines-Allen just beyond the free throw lane. She drove the right side and banked the game-winner off glass.
”We knew it was going to be a battle,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. ”They’re very physical; they rebound the ball.”
Tech’s next-to-last inbounds play, after a timeout, was intercepted by Louisville’s Jazmine Jones, who was fouled before making one of two free throws with 1.2 seconds to go. She missed the second, and Tech rebounded, but did not get off a shot before the buzzer.
Hines-Allen added 12 points and nine rebounds for Louisville.
Louisville escaped a big upset in spite of 17 turnovers. ”We definitely have some work to do. We had … seven in the first quarter, 10 in the three after that,” Walz said. ”That was us being a little smarter with the ball.”
Georgia Tech gave the Cardinals all they could handle, but could not pull out the win with starting guard Channin Scott going scoreless. She played just 8 minutes, missing her only shot. ”We can’t have one player not show up,” Joseph said. ”When you play a top five team in the country, your whole team has to show up. You can’t have one player take the night off.”
Louisville goes on the road again for a Sunday ACC game at North Carolina State.
Georgia Tech will remain at home for a Sunday game against ACC rival Clemson.