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Louisville punches ticket to Final Four with 76-43 win over Oregon St.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Lexington Regional-Oregon State vs Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of a low-scoring 1st quarter Louisville had a small 14-8 lead over Oregon State. In the 2nd quarter some of the shots that weren’t falling for the Cards started going in, but their lead was still a respectable 31-24 going into the half.

Then came the 3rd quarter.

Louisville picked up the defensive pressure. They began to wear Oregon State center Marie Gulich down. Halfway through the quarter Louisville’s lead had grown to 41-28 and from that point the Cards were sprinting downhill.

Myisha Hines-Allen also credited the team’s defense for the win, “it all came down to defense....if you want to go to a Final Four, we have to get stops.” Sam Fuehring added this about guarding Gulich, “For me, it was to limit her touches and to keep her off the boards. She’s a big girl, so I mean, she’s got like three inches on me, two inches, so I’ve got to use my strength to keep her off the boards...But I feel like I did a pretty good job....I think that helped the team today.”

Coach Walz was also impressed with his team’s defensive effort. He said, “Well, Sam was outstanding. You know, you just can’t even start with Sam. You’ve got all of them. Jasmine Jones, she scores four points, and that’s all -- if you look at stats, you’re like, gosh, she only got four tonight, but defensively she was everywhere....But Sam, you know, she’s not afraid of contact. She holds her own....Sam did a great job of holding her ground.”

Another big factor in the win was Louisville scoring 24 points off of 17 turnovers as opposed to 0 points for the Beavers off of only 3 Louisville turnovers. Myisha said, “ We took care of the ball. We took shots that we normally take. We weren’t forcing anything....We cherished every possession that we had.”

Myisha also praised the play of teammate Arica Carter, “Her freshman year was hard. Coach Walz got on her a lot, but he knew that she could be great and she could do the things she’s doing now....You know, me, Asia and Sam, too, we get a lot of credit for a lot of things, but AC is the one who runs the team and makes sure everyone is in their right spots and knows what we have to do, so it’s a credit to her.”

Coach Walz also talked about the upcoming Final Four, “We’re 38 games into it. We’re good at what we’re good at, we’re bad at what we’re bad at. You’re not going to change it. So I’m going to tell the players the same thing. We’re going to enjoy it. I’m going to let them enjoy this experience.” He added, “You’ll remember some games. You’ll remember the memories that are made off the court, because that’s what you constantly go back and talk about. That’s what made this year so special is just how these players are with my children. It’s remarkable.” As for his daughters apparently their fans too. “When my daughters were out there in the yard, and Lola tells me she’s Lola Hines-Allen today, and Lucy, you’re going to be Lucy Durr, and then she tells Mom, you’re going to be the official, and Dad can still be the coach, you know, it’s the impact that they have on their lives that means everything to me.”

He said this about the fans, “To get close to 6200 to come down and be a part of this is amazing. Our players -- I’ve said it all along, I mean, we’re forever grateful to our fan base.... they were loud, they were excited, and it was just -- it’s a tribute to the fan base that we have, not just for women’s basketball but the University of Louisville in general.”

Asia Durr led all scorers with 18 points to which she added 5 rebounds and 4 assists, Myisha had 16 points and 3 rebounds. Sam had 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Myisha, Arica, and Sam were named to the all-region team. Asia was the region’s Most Outstanding Player.

The Cards play the winner of UCLA/Mississippi State on Friday night in Columbus.

WARNING: cover the children’s ears: