SEATTLE (AP)Kianna Smith and Liz Dixon each scored 13 points for No. 10 Louisville, which beat Washington 61-53 on Saturday.
The Cardinals (3-1) led by as much as 16 late in the third quarter, but had to hold off a late charge by the Huskies to win their third straight.
”We have to put a four-quarter game together,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. ”I thought for three quarters we were really, really good and then we kind of got away from what we were doing to build that lead.”
Haley Van Dyke scored 15 points and had seven rebounds for Washington (2-1), and Alexis Whitfield came off the bench for 10 points.
Hailey Van Lith made a pair of free throws with 2:42 left to stop the Huskies’ 11-0 run that had cut Louisville’s lead to 54-51. Emily Engstler then hit a turnaround jumper with 1:52 left for a 58-51 lead that Washington couldn’t erase. Van Lith finished with 11 points, three assists and no turnovers.
”I thought Emily Engstler came up with a huge, huge bucket and then some big rebounds on the offensive boards,” Walz said. ”She came up with one, Liz got one … and then we were finally able to convert. I mean, we just were bad there in the fourth quarter offensively. I’m not sure if seven is the least amount of points we’ve scored in a quarter in my 15 years, but it’s close.”
The Cardinals trailed by five early because of cold shooting, missing 12 of their first 18 shots and were 0 of 3 from the 3-point line. But Louisville forced five of Washington’s 14 first-half turnovers over less than 3 minutes. Then Smith hit the team’s first 3 with 4:10 left in the half to break a 19-all tie and start a 14-4 run.
Washington cut it to eight in the third, but Louisville surged ahead behind timely baskets from Smith and Dixon to lead 52-36 with 3:10 to go. But the Huskies rallied to cut the lead to 54-51 with 3:05 left. Mykasa Robinson and Smith hit three free throws to finish the game.
”I’m so proud of our kids,” Washington coach Tina Langley said. ”I think these young women have worked incredibly hard. Just so selfless. They’ll play any position, do anything we ask. I can’t tell you how many players I had playing out of position today.”
Louisville: Coach Jeff Walz improved to 14-4 against the Pac-12, but his team hasn’t had much fun against the conference this year after starting the season with a 61-59 overtime loss to No. 11 Arizona.
Washington: Until new coach Tara Langley finds a solution at point guard, something that may not happen this season, the turnovers will continue to cost Washington games. Louisville scored 17 points off turnovers.
Louisville: At Cal Poly on Tuesday.
Washington: Plays VCU at the Goombay Splash tournament in the Bahamas on Thursday.
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