LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Myisha Hines-Allen scored 23 points and No. 8 Louisville beat No. 23 Syracuse 78-58 on Thursday night to give coach Jeff Walz his 200th win.
The Cardinals (19-2, 7-1 ACC) trailed 30-29 at halftime but started the second half on a 13-2 run and didn’t let up, shooting 66 percent and playing what Walz called one of the best halves of the season.
Hines-Allen came off the bench for the second straight game, matching the career high she set four days ago against Miami. Mariya Moore added 21 points, 19 in the second half.
Jude Schimmel scored 13 and Sara Hammond had 13 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high eight assists.
It was a familiar scene for the Cardinals in falling behind early before mounting a balanced attack built on finding the open teammate. Louisville had 26 assists on 31 baskets.
Diamond Henderson led Syracuse (15-6, 5-3) with 20 points.
Moore hit a 3-pointer to start the second half, her first of four, and the Cardinals led 42-32 less than four minutes in. Syracuse pulled to 48-41 before Louisville unleashed a 22-4 run in just more than 5 1/2 minutes. That put the Cardinals up 70-45 with 7:17 remaining. All eight baskets in the sequence came with an assist, part of Louisville’s last 11 field goals that started with a teammate’s pass.
Both teams struggled to score early and shot below 40 percent in the opening half. Louisville went 4 of 20 and trailed 19-11 with less than seven minutes left. The Cardinals took the lead at 23-22 on Hammond’s turnaround jumper from the right baseline with 2:20 remaining, but Syracuse went back in front by halftime.
The 43-year-old Walz is 200-72 in eight seasons. He guided Louisville to the national title game in 2009 and 2013, losing to Connecticut both times. Walz reached the 200-win mark nine games faster than Connecticut coaching great Geno Auriemma.
Syracuse: The Orange’s biggest loss of the season snapped a five-game winning streak. All six defeats this season have been to teams ranked in the top 20 at the time of the loss, with four against top-10 competition.
Louisville: It was the ninth time Louisville has had at least 20 assists this season. The Cardinals entered ninth in the country with 17.9 assists per game. . Bria Smith entered with a 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio in ACC matchups, best in the conference, and improved on that mark with seven assists and two turnovers.
Syracuse visits No. 9 Florida State on Monday.
Louisville visits No. 17 Duke on Monday.
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