WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Hailey Van Lith had 23 factors and 6 assists, Emily Engstler had 20 factors and 10 rebounds, and No. 1 seed Louisville held off Tennessee 76-64 within the NCAA Girls’s Event on Saturday for attain the elite. Eight for the fourth consecutive time.
Kianna Smith additionally had 12 factors for the Cardinals (28-4), who misplaced most of a 15-point early lead earlier than pulling out late within the fourth quarter to set a date with the lead. Michigan’s No. 3 seed or the tenth seed South. Dakota for a spot within the Ultimate 4.
The Cardinals have grow to be one of many nation’s dominant ladies’s applications underneath coach Jeff Walz — very similar to the Girl Vols have been for thus a few years underneath Pat Summitt — however are nonetheless chasing their first nationwide championship.
Rae Burrell led fourth-seeded Tennessee (25-9) with 22 factors, however she didn’t get a lot assist from her crew, which recorded 18 turnovers. Jordan Walker contributed 10 factors however had 5 turnovers.
The Cardinals asserted management halfway via the primary quarter, making the most of too many unforced errors from Girl Vols. Kaiya Wynn’s turnover led to Van Lith’s simple transition, then Wynn missed a pair of foul photographs and Burrell missed an open 3-pointer from the nook within the closing minutes that allowed Louisville to increase its lead.
Tennessee’s troubles actually began within the second quarter.
The Girl Vols turned the ball over on 4 of their first six possessions, usually leading to simple discipline objectives on the opposite finish, and the Cardinals capitalized on the momentum by hitting an all-court press as properly. Their lead grew to 27-13 earlier than Girl Vols coach Kellie Harper referred to as a day out to save lots of his crew caught within the backcourt.
The principle motive Tennessee trailed, down 38-29 at halftime, was their very own first rate protection.
The Girl Vols lastly began attacking after the break, with Burrell and Tess Darby as catalysts. Darby was scoreless within the first half however hit three 3s within the third quarter, and Burrell additionally had 9 factors throughout that streak, together with a 3 that hardly beat the buzzer to carry the Girl Vols to 55-50 in direction of the fourth.
Turnovers finally obtained them in, although.
Tennessee had closed at 55-53 on Burrell’s three-point play to start out the fourth quarter, however spat it out on three consecutive floor journeys. Engstler scored after the primary turnover, Smith drained a 3-pointer after the second, and Louisville rapidly stretched the lead once more, constructing a cushion large enough to advance to the Regional Finals.
Tennessee: Fell to 0-3 towards Louisville within the NCAA Event, together with a loss 5 years in the past within the Candy 16. And whereas the Girl Vols are making progress underneath Harper of their return to prominence, they nonetheless haven’t reached the Elite Eight since 2016 and their final Ultimate 4 look was in 2008.
Louisville: Reached the 70-point mark with 2:18 left and that was a nasty signal for the Girl Vols, who have been 24-2 when holding opponents underneath that complete. The Cardinals struggled on the pitch more often than not – Van Lith was simply 7 of 21 from the sector and 0 of 5 from past the arc.
The video card hanging within the heart inside INTRUST Financial institution Enviornment went darkish across the similar time the match began, stopping followers and coaches from seeing replays. He lastly got here again halfway via the primary quarter.
Extra AP protection of March Insanity: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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