Asia Durr scored 21 points and No. 4 Louisville broke open a tight game with 16 consecutive points in the third quarter and beat Virginia 77-41 on Thursday night.
Bionca Dunham added 13 points and Arica Carter 12 for the Cardinals (23-1, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Louisville led just 31-29 after Virginia scored first after halftime, but had a 51-31 lead after the scoring burst. The Cardinals outscored Virginia 46-14 after halftime.
The Cavaliers (15-8, 8-2) were led by Aliyah Huland El with nine points, including the 1,000th of her career in the final minute. Virginia hurt its cause with 22 turnovers, which the Cardinals turned into 20 points.
The teams came into the game tied with No. 5 Notre Dame for the lead in the ACC. The Fighting Irish played at home against North Carolina.
The Cavaliers trailed 8-0 and had four turnovers before they scored a point. Louisville was ahead 31-25 after a 14-5 run late in the second quarter, but two free throws by Brianna Tinsley pulled Virginia to 31-27 at the half.
Louisville: What Louisville lacks in size it makes up for in speed and active hands defensively. Many of Virginia’s turnovers came when they tried to feed the ball inside, particularly to 6-foot-9 Felicia Aiyeotan
Virginia: The Cavaliers’ 8-1 start in the ACC is their best since they started the season 9-1 in 1999-2000. They also have moved up to No. 28 in the RPI rankings, suggesting they are in line to receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nine years, or since Debbie Ryan’s second-to-last season as coach. But their last six regular season games will be crucial because they came into the game 0-3 against ranked teams and with four top 10 teams on the schedule the rest of the way, including the Cardinals twice and road games at Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Louisville plays at Syracuse on Sunday.
Virginia plays at No. 10 Florida State next Thursday night.
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