BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Jeff Walz knew getting a win at Indiana wasn’t going to be easy for No. 4 Louisville. The Cardinals came through for their coach.
Myisha Hines-Allen had 25 points and 12 rebounds to help Louisville use a big third quarter run to beat Indiana 72-59 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Thursday night.
Jazmine Jones finished with 12 points and seven rebounds for the Cardinals (7-0).
“I really didn’t expect for this to be a blowout by any case. So, being up nine at the half, I was pleased with that,” Walz said. “Give Indiana credit. They executed, they attacked us in some places that we have to get better, but overall, (when) you can come on the road against a Big Ten team and win at their place I’ll take it.”
For the majority of the first half, the Cardinals struggled with the Hoosiers, unable to build and maintain a comfortable lead, and It was Louisville’s defense, or lack of, that Walz specifically highlighted as Louisville’s weak spot during the first two periods.
The Cardinals came into the game having little to no trouble with their opponents thus far, with wins of least 25 points in four of their first six games. But with four minutes to play in the second quarter, the Hoosiers were in it, trailing 28-26.
But that’s when Kylee Shook scoring all five of her points during a 9-2 scoring run that took Louisville into the locker room with a 37-28 lead.
Louisville started the second half where it left off. The Cardinals controlled the third quarter, including a stretch where they carried out a 10-2 binge to extend their lead to 51-36. Indiana managed to pull to 65-57 with a little more than four minutes left in the fourth, but that was as close as it got.
“During that third quarter run we got to the free-throw line some and then Myisha, she refused to lose,” Walz said. “She got to the offensive glass, she attacked — she was relentless.”
Louisville native Jaelynn Penn led Indiana (4-3) with 17 points. Standout senior Tyra Buss finished with 12 points for Indiana. Buss was happy with Indiana’s energy throughout the game, but her disappointment with the Hoosiers’ presence in the paint was obvious.
The Cardinals outscored the Hoosiers 54-30 in the paint. Louisville grabbed 12 offensive rebounds, which led to 14 second chance points.
“I definitely think we came out strong and we believed that we could win this game and play right with them. We came out with a lot of energy and attacked,” Buss said. “We couldn’t keep them off the boards. Myisha and their big post players, they were crashing hard. We just couldn’t come up with the loose balls or the rebounds. They just wanted it a little more than us.”
Louisville is no stranger to the Big Ten Conference. The Cardinals have three wins over Big Ten opponents this season, including an overtime road win against No.8 Ohio State and a 25-point victory over No.22 Michigan.
The Cardinals have opened with seven wins for the second consecutive year. With a win over South Dakota State on Sunday Louisville will have its first 8-0 start since the 2014-15 season. The Cardinals have seven more games until they begin conference play, including a matchup with Vanderbilt at home and Kentucky on the road.
Indiana hosts Auburn on Sunday.
Louisville visits South Dakota State on Sunday.