Walz impressed by Louisville champs, on and off the court

In top photo, Myisha Hines-Allen and Sam Fuehring celebrate along with Coach Jeff Walz. Above, Sydney Zambrotta, Sam Fuehring, Asia Durr, Jessica Laemmle and Arica Carter with more of the same following their NCAA regional championship win at Rupp Arena [Cindy Rice Shelton photos].
Coach Jeff Walz welcomes Asia Durr after she departs the game with 18 points (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

A special group of young women, with players getting along great together, adding one milestone after another, deserving everything they earn.

Before Jeff Walz arrived at the University of Louisville 11 seasons ago, the women’s basketball program had never been to the Sweet 16. He updated the record on Sunday, noting that every four-year player he has coached at UofL has been to the Final Four.

The Louisville women will so0n be hanging still another banner at the KFC Yum! Center in the near future.  A Final Four banner for sure, with still a shot at the ultimate, having already achieved one of the best seasons in the school’s history.

Jeff Walz holding Lucy and accompanied by Lola, her older sister. Those are assistants Stephanie Norman and Samantha Wiliams in background (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

The Cardinals continued their impressive run in the 2018  NCAA Tournament with a dominating 76-43 win over Oregon State team in the Lexington Regional at Rupp Arena. A school record 36th win over the season against only two losses.  UofL moves to the Final Four for the third time in Coach Jeff Walz’ tenure.

The dominance was total, with the Cardinals forcing Oregon State into 17 turnovers and making only three themselves . UofL would outscore the Beavers 24-0 on turnovers.  Four of those steals coming in the third quarter when UofL would erupt, extending a seven-point halftime lead to 30 points.

Nobody wears that Final Four hat quite like Myisha Hines-Allen (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Louisville would also hold the Beavers, who were averaging nine 3-pointers a game, to only five in this one, and limiting them to only 15 field goals. Oregon State wrapped up the season with a 26-8 record.

Four Cardinals scored in double figures, led by 18 points from Asia Durr, the regional’s Most Outstanding Player.  Myisha Hines-Allen scored 16 points and made three steals. Sam Fuehring scored 14 and Carter added 10. Jazmine Jones scored all four of her points during that explosive third quarter.

 While Walz was thrilled with the effort, he said he was even more impressed with his team’s performance off the floor. “We truly do have young women who are wonderful role models to my children,” he said, pausing to gather himself. “That means more to me than winning basketball games.

“When my daughter is out there in the yard and tells me she’s Lola Hines-Allen, my other daughter tells me she’s Lucy Durr, and she tells mom ‘You’re going to be the official.’ The impact our players have on their lives means everything to me.

“It’s a wonderful experience to get back to the Final Four, and I want to thank the players for being the kind of people they are.”

Hines-Allen, Jones in control, UofL women pound Toledo

Asia Durr, in feature photo, was back in action, scoring 14 points in 17 minutes. Sophomore Jazmine Jones, above, had her best college game, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds (Cindy Rice Shelton photos).

Toledo was focused on stopping Asia Durr two nights after she set an all-time single game scoring record of 47 points for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team.  She scored only 14 points but she played only 17 minutes in this game.

Myisha Hines-Allen looking for daylight beneath the basket, going on to score 17 points (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

The visiting Rockets discovered there are some other scoring threats on this UofL team — namely Myisha Hines-Allen and Jazmine Jones who each scored 17 points apiece and pulled down 10 rebounds. Plenty of power in the middle for the Cards this season, with Kylie Shook coming through with eight rebounds and four points.

Louisville a 90-55 winner before a crowd of 5,444 at the KFC Yum!

Freshman Dana Evans getting tons of playing time and filling up the stats sheet during her 27 minutes — six points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and, whoops, five turnovers. She’s a high energy player, confident and assertive. 

Junior Sydney Zambrotta also impressing Coach Jeff Walz with her defensive intensity, seeing 16 minutes on the floor, actually starting in the second half. Her 3-point shot still beautiful, sinking both of her attempts. She also pulled in three rebounds and was credited with a couple of assists.

The UofL women, ranked fifth in this week’s Associated Press poll, will host 24th ranked Michigan at 7 p.m. Thursday.