LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP)Chrislyn Carr scored 15 points to lead No. 7 Louisville to an 84-62 win over IUPUI on Thursday night.
The Cardinals (2-0) shot 55.9% in the first half and led by as much as 44-27 in the second quarter. The Jaguars (0-2) were able to cut the deficit to 51-42 with 8:16 left in the third quarter after a 3-pointer by Rachel Kent. Louisville responded with an 18-2 run over the rest of the quarter.
”I think we came out a little slow and a step late in the third quarter, and after that first timeout was called, we had to jump each other’s butt a little bit,” guard Hailey Van Lith said. ”We just started playing our type of defense and created chaos.”
That chaos allowed the Cardinals to increase their lead to 75-44 with 7:56 remaining.
Louisville has won its first two games by an average of 20.5 points, but coach Jeff Walz said his team still has room to grow.
”I thought we looked really good. Then, at times, I thought we look poor,” he said. ”We’ve got to do a much better job communicating at the defensive end of the floor.”
Carr added a team-high five assists as Louisville had 11 players score. Van Lith had 12 points and 10 rebounds, all of which came off the defensive glass. Olivia Cochran scored 11 points, and freshman Nyla Harris added 11 points and six boards in 16 minutes.
Kate Bruce, IUPUI’s first-year coach, said her team was focused on trying to stop Van Lith.
”They had other players step up for them,” she said.
Kent led IUPUI with 17 points. The Jaguars shot 32.3% from the field, largely due to missing 14 straight shots as Louisville pulled away in the second half. They also committed 18 turnovers.
Louisville has shown a knack for scoring inside. In Monday’s opener against Cincinnati, the Cardinals scored 48 points in the paint.
On Thursday, Louisville scored 50 and did it even as starting forward Liz Dixon battled early foul trouble. One reason for that was Harris, a 6-2 freshman. She scored nine points in seven first-half minutes, including six on layups. In the second half, she pulled down five rebounds in nine minutes.
Van Lith said the five-star recruit has shown the ability to be a role player for the deep Cardinals.
”As a young player, to have someone with that type of maturity that’s willing to accept a role, it is a little bit rare nowadays,” Van Lith said. ”So, we really appreciate her being willing to sacrifice for us and not always do the pretty stuff but the gritty stuff.”
IUPUI: Last year’s Horizon Conference champions have a new coach and must replace three starters from a squad that gave Oklahoma a scare in last year’s NCAA Tournament. The new-look Jaguars ran out of gas in the second half.
Louisville: The Cardinals have shown they’ll be able to put the ball in the bucket in their first two games, but one potential concern may be their perimeter defense. After Cincinnati made 9 of 13 3-pointers Monday, IUPUI made 6 of 14 in the first half. The Jaguars slumped in the second half but still made 10 of 26 3s for the game.
Walz said the main issue is players closing out short on shooters.
”We’re overhelping at times for no reason when someone’s not beat, which then instead of peeling out to get to the shooter, we’re sucking in,” he said.
IUPUI plays at Butler on Sunday.
Louisville plays at Belmont on Sunday night.
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