LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Sara Hammond scored a season-high 19 points, Myisha Hines-Allen added 16 and No. 7 Louisville ran away quickly from No. 22 Iowa for an 86-52 rout Thursday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Seeking a good tuneup before Sunday’s Bluegrass battle against No. 13 Kentucky, the Cardinals (8-0) never trailed in racing to an impressive first win over a ranked team this season. Hammond’s 9-of-13 shooting led Louisville’s 35-of-66 performance from the field, its fifth 50-percent shooting effort this season; the Cardinals held the Hawkeyes (6-2) to 30 percent.
Freshman Mariya Moore had 12 points and six assists, and senior guard Bria Smith added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Cardinals, who dominated the Hawkeyes 58-32 in the paint and outrebounded them 50-38.
Bethany Doolittle scored 12 points for Iowa, which fell to 0-2 against Louisville, with both meetings coming this year.
And like the Cardinals’ 83-53 drubbing of the Hawkeyes in the second round of last spring’s NCAA tournament, Louisville succeeded in taking Iowa’s scorers out of the game.
Louisville’s defensive effort was particularly impressive considering this Iowa squad featured a starting lineup of double-digit scorers, with Ally Disterhoft (16 points per game) leading the way. But the sophomore guard tallied just nine points while senior guard Samantha Logic had eight in a game featuring 20 turnovers leading to 21 Cardinals points.
Then again, Louisville’s goal was making opportunities and baskets difficult to come by for Iowa, and the Cardinals opened strong in holding the Hawkeyes scoreless over a 5-minute stretch that included 11 straight misses. The Hawkeyes went on to shoot 24 percent (9 of 38) in the half and improved just slightly in the second.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, were quick and accurate thanks to the inside presence of Hammond and Hines-Allen, who combined for 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting and eight rebounds through 20 minutes. They keyed Louisville’s 53 percent shooting and edges in rebounding (27-21) and assists (11-6), with Moore feeding both post players and adding seven points.
Iowa kept pace for a few minutes before Louisville’s 12-0 run over 3:19 provided a 26-9 lead that grew to a 46-23 halftime edge and steadily grew after that.
Smith jumped high to make a two-handed block of Whitney Jennings’ 3-point shot, grabbed her own deflection and raced for a layup to give the Cardinals a 35-15 lead.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes didn’t have a double-digit scorer until Doolittle’s layup with 15:18 remaining. … Iowa fell to 14-9 against the ACC.
Louisville: Hammond made six of seven shots in the first half after two missed layups at the start. … Shawnta’ Dyer and Emmonnie Henderson each had seven rebounds.
Iowa: Hosts Colorado on Sunday.
Louisville: Hosts No. 13 Kentucky on Sunday.
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