Women’s NCAA Tournament Recap: BYU Falls to Louisville 86-53


The Louisville Cardinals used swarming defense to throw off the game of the BYU Cougars as they cruised to a dominating 86-53 victory in the first round of the Women’s NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon in Tampa, Florida.

Mar 21, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Brigham Young Cougars forward Morgan Bailey (41) reacts during the second half against the Louisville Cardinals in the first round of the women

The Cougars never had much of a chance as the Cardinals came out aggressively and forced BYU into numerous mistakes. The Cougars had a whopping 30 turnovers, and the Cardinals took full advantage with a season-high 24 steals and 38 points off of turnovers.

An early 8-0 run allowed the Cardinals to build a lead that extended to double digits early in the game. A 14 point halftime only swelled in the second half as it became a blowout well before the final whistle.

As expected, the game was fairly even outside of turnovers. The Cardinals got balanced scoring with 4 players in double figures. Lexi Eaton had 14 points for the Cougars, and Morgan Bailey added a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. But turnovers were the story of the game as the Cardinals had just 12 compared to the 30 by the Cougars.

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We said in our preview of this game that the Cougars could compete with the Cardinals if they played disciplined and limited turnovers. Unfortunately, they had too many jitters that lead to way many mistakes. With those struggles, they never had a chance against a deep team that took full advantage of the turnovers.

The Cougars finish the season at 23-10 and can hold their heads high even after the blowout loss. They weren’t even expected to make the NCAA Tournament as they faded late in the regular season falling all the way to 5th place in a very stacked West Coast Conference. But they embarked on a magical run in the WCC Tournament as they became the lowest seed to ever win the tournament.

The #3 seeded Cardinals improved to 26-6 on the season and will advance to the second round to face #6 seed South Florida on Monday.