The rivalry never gets old, never any lack of intensity.
Two of the best women’s basketball teams to compete in the Louisville vs. Kentucky rivalry, entering the game with identical 9-0 records. Cruising in the pre-conference season, each wanting another signature win. But mostly wanting to knock their rival from the ranks of the unbeaten.
UofL ranked fifth in the nation, UK 19th. Even more motivation for the Wildcats, wanting to move up in the poll, wanting the Cardinals to slide. Louisville equally fired up for Kentucky, the last thing UofL needs is a loss to the arch rival.
Louisville would win this showdown 80-75 before a crowd of 13,786 crowd of heavily red-clad fans at the KFC Yum! Center. It was UofL’s third straight in the series, and probably the most impressive win yet a team that could be among UK’s best in recent years.
UofL’s Asia Durr had to feel like a punching bag at times, a constant target for Kentucky defenders. Pushed, jostled and bumped, hassled and cajoled, every move challenged. By the end of the game, she had thrown up at least four air balls, something even Coach Jeff Walz found unfathomable.
Durr always shows up for the biggest games, however, and she arrived early in this one. She scored UofL’s first seven points and 17 in the first quarter, and a total of 24 points in the first half. She would pace all scorers with 32 points. She had the Wildcats playing catchup all afternoon.
Asia would deny being tired after the game, though she acknowledged that the game was more physical than most. “I love playing this game,” she said, not wanting to point fingers at anyone.
Sam Fuehring and Jazmine Jones adding 12 points apiece for Louisville, Bionca Dunham with 11 and Dana Evans with 10. Fuehring and Dunham claiming seven and five rebounds, respectively. Rhyne Howard led UK scorers with 25 points.
Gallery by Cindy Rice Shelton