LOUISVILLE, Ky. – No. 5 University of Louisville women’s basketball will host No. 10 Oregon in the championship game of the Women’s NIT on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET.
Louisville seeks their second preseason WNIT title in two appearances. Their other WNIT title came in 2013 when they won on the road at Oklahoma in overtime, 97-92. They are 7-0 all-time in the preseason WNIT.
Louisville advanced to the finals by downing No. 24 Michigan, 74-49, on Thursday night.
In the 74-49 win, the Cards trailed at half for the first time this season, 37-32. They then limited the Wolverines to four third quarter points and eight in the fourth quarter for 12 second half points. The 12 points allowed was just four off the school-record of eight points allowed in a half (8, Houston Baptist, 11/17/10).
After Michigan shot 65 percent in the first half, they were limited to 19 percent shooting in second half, connecting on just four field goals. Louisville outscored UM, 42-12, in the second stanza to win by 25.
Senior Myisha Hines-Allen led the way with 19 points and eight rebounds. Through four games, she is averaging a double-double with 14.0 points and 11.0 rebounds.
Louisville has outrebounded opponents by 72 combined after four games and their 18.0 rebounding margin ranks 17th in the country. Their 183 total rebounds are second most in country.
They outrebounded Michigan by eight after outrebounding Toledo by 30, Ohio State by 18 and SEMO by 16. Even more impressive, they limited the Buckeyes to just four offensive rebounds and just four second chance points, and the Wolverines to just five offensive rebounds and just four second chance points.
Last season, Oregon finished the season with a 23-14 overall record and 8-10 in Pac 12 play. As a 10-seed in the NCAA Tournament, they made a run to the Elite Eight, their first in program history, before falling to 1-seed Connecticut, 90-52.
They opened the AP poll at No. 11 and moved up to No. 10 in week two. Picked second in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll, Oregon is tied with Oregon State for the youngest roster in the conference with just four upperclassmen this season.
With wins over CSUN, Drake and No. 19 Texas A&M to open the season, Oregon is 31-6 in regular season non-conference games under head coach Kelly Graves.
Sabrina Ionescu was named a second team preseason All-American by Lindy’s while both Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard were named third team preseason All-Americans by Street & Smith.
Ionescu is averaging 20.0 points, 9.7 assists and 8.7 rebounds through three games, while Hebard is averaging 15.0 points and 9.0 rebounds.
Series History: Louisville is 1-2 all-time against Oregon.
Last Meeting: Louisville 67, Oregon 65 (March 17, 1995 – NCAA Midwest Regional First Round, Athens, Ga.)
GAME FACTS Date: Sunday, Nov. 19
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
Site: KFC Yum! Center/Crum Court (22,000), Louisville, Ky.
Promotion: $3 tickets when you present your men’s basketball vs. Omaha or football vs. Syracuse ticket stub
Video: CBS Sports Network, Thad Anderson, play-by-play; Ceal Barry, analyst
Radio: WKRD 790 AM, Nick Curran (play-by-play) and Adrienne Johnson (analyst)
Next UofL Game: Friday, Nov. 24 vs. Murray State, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Ky., 1 p.m. ET
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