Olivia Cochran undeterred by Duke’s defense, scoring 13 points. She has scored in double figures seven straight games  (Mike DeZarn photo).

The 1,000th victory for the University of Louisville women’s basketball program was a sweet one, a no-doubter in front of 7,789 fans at the KFC Yum! Center. The Cardinals were never seriously challenged in a 61-44 win over Duke.

Another milestone in the career of Coach Jeff Walz who is well on his way to having achieved almost half of those victories. He has won 454 games during his 17 seasons with the program.

Walz and the Cardinals have an amazing resumé that includes 12 trips to the NCAA Sweet 16, eight trips to the Elite Eight, four trips to the final four and two trips to the national title game. Overall, he has compiled a 40-14 record in NCAA Tournament games and ranks eighth all-time and fifth among active coaches with a 74.1 NCAA Tournament winning percentage. All of this for a program that had just four NCAA Tournament wins and had never reached a Sweet 16 prior to Walz being named head coach.

Kiki Jefferson led UofL with 15 points and pulled down four rebounds to go along with two steals. The graduate student has scored in double figures 10 times and has had multiple steals in seven games this season.

Olivia Cochran scored in double figures for the seventh-straight game, tallying 13 points to go along with a team-high six rebounds and three steals. This marks the fifth time this season that she has had three steals in a game.

Merissah Russell added 10 points and two steals, her second consecutive game in double figures and with multiple steals.

The Cards forced 27 turnovers against the Blue Devils — the 11th time this season that they have forced 20 or more turnovers.

No doubt where Sloane’s loyalties lie, or those of her supporters (Mike DeZarn photo).
Eylia Love has a laser focus on defense, unrelenting she is (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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