Back breaker in action, UofL’s Eylia Love stealing the ball from Kentucky’s Maddie Scherr for an easy two in the fourth quarter (Mike DeZarn photo).

Lots of new faces on the University of Louisville women’s basketball team, still searching for an identity 10 games into the season. Nothing like having arch rival Kentucky to bring focus to a team and its fan base, cementing the relationship at just the right time in early December.

Largest crowd of the young season, 11,291, on hand to see the Cardinals take care of business. And they will, winning their seventh straight game over the Wildcats by a score of 73-61. Not an easy win, with the score tied eight times and the lead changing nine times through the third quarter.

UK refusing to go away, behind by only six points with 53 seconds to go. Seconds later, Louisville’s Eylia Love will strip Kentucky’s Maddie Scherr of the ball, driving the court for a wide open layup. The dagger, the final straw, putting UofL up by 10 points and endearing Love forever to the Cardinal faithful.

Scherr, another UK senior without a win over UofL during her career, with an outstanding game. Leading all scorers with 22 points, including three 3-pointers, five rebounds, and three steals.

Love, however, was making life miserable for the visitors. The 6-foot-1 senior UofL transfer from Georgia Tech was UofL’s leading scorer with 14 points. She would hit six. of eight field goal attempts, pulled down five rebounds, and make two steals including the aforementioned.

Senior Olivia Cochran added 10 points, reaching 1,000 points for her career with a basket in the third quarter. Cochran pulled down a team-high tying eight rebounds, the Cardinals enjoying a 45-23 rebound advantage over the Wildcats. She is the 33rd player in program history to score 1,000 points or more in their UofL career.

Sophomore Nyla Harris earned 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and had three steals. Grad student Kiki Jefferson, a transfer from James Madison, had 11 points for her fifth consecutive double-figure scoring game. She also had seven rebounds in 17 minutes.

The win improves Louisville’s record to 10-1. Kentucky slides to 4-7.

Olivia Cochran gets the commemorative basketball for reaching the 1,000-point plateau for her UofL career (Mike DeZarn photo).
Everybody is happy when Louisville defeats Kentucky, not the least of which are the Louisville cheerleaders (Mike DeZarn photo).

 

 

 

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

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