Fuehring, Durr lead Louisville past Oregon State 61-44

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Fuehring, Durr lead Louisville past Oregon State 61-44
Oregon State guard Mikayla Pivec (0) battles for the ball with Louisville forward Sam Fuehring during the first half of a regional semifinal game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Friday, March 29, 2019, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Sam Fuehring and Asia Durr each had 17 points and top-seeded Louisville clamped down on defense again, beating No. 4 Oregon State 61-44 on Friday night to reach the Elite Eight.

Louisville (32-3) will meet UConn (34-2) on Sunday for a berth in the Final Four. The Huskies defeated UCLA 69-61 in the first game. The Cardinals beat UConn 78-69 in late January.

Oregon State (26-8), 0-3 against Louisville, sputtered in the third quarter to fall behind by 16 and couldn’t recover in the rematch of a regional final last year that Louisville won by 33. The Beavers shot 30.4 percent (17 of 56), just above their season low

Durr ranks third all-time in program history in points in the NCAA Tournament, just two points shy of tying Angel McCoughtry for second.

Fuehring, who was 13 of 14 for 29 points in the first two games of the tournament, finished 7 of 12.

Mikayla Pivec, who entered the game averaging 19.5 points in the tournament for Oregon State, finished with 17 points, the only player in double figures for the Beavers, who matched their season low in points.

Oregon State trailed 30-23 at halftime despite shooting 2 of 13 from long range and allowing six 3s at the other end. But the Beavers missed their first six shots of the decisive third quarter and committed two quick turnovers, scoring just one point in seven minutes as the Cardinals began to slowly pull away. Consecutive baskets by Durr and a steal and layup by Dana Evans boosted the lead to 44-28 after three.

Oregon State had 30 turnovers in its two tournament victories and a negative turnover margin, but the Beavers committed just 12, allowing nine points from the mistakes.

Oregon State survived two tight games in the opening rounds on their home court, Gill Coliseum. The Beavers topped Boise State 80-75 in overtime, then held off Gonzaga 76-70. The Beavers knocked down 45 free throws in those victories, then traveled 2,449 miles to New York state’s capital to face the Cardinals. On this night they were 8 of 13 from the line.

Louisville allowed only 84 points and 32.7 percent shooting in winning its first two tournament games, a reflection of the defensive prowess that led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring defense (59.4) In its tournament victories over Robert Morris and Michigan, the Cardinals scored 47 points off 37 forced turnovers.

QUICK START

Durr, ACC player of the year for the second straight season, and Fuehring combined to score all the points in an early 11-2 spurt that put the Cardinals up 13-4 midway through the first quarter. Louisville increased the lead to 19-9 on a 3-pointer by Fuehring with 2:08 left, but Taya Corosdale countered with a 3 and Pivec scored four points to close the gap to 21-15 after one quarter.

KATIE’S RUN

Oregon State guard Katie McWilliams played in the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight time. It was her 138th game for the Beavers, one behind Marie Gulch’s school record. McWilliams did not score in her last college game.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon State: In his nine seasons coach Scott Rueck has established his alma mater as a perennial power. The Beavers, ranked No. 11 in the final AP poll, are one of eight teams in the nation to make the Sweet 16 in each of the last four seasons, along with UConn, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Baylor, Stanford, UCLA and Mississippi State. The Beavers played without sweet-shooting junior guard Kat Tudor, who was lost for the season in January to a left knee injury. Before she was hurt, Tudor was 40 of 86 from beyond the arc, an impressive 46.5 percent. She was on the bench cheering Friday night.

Louisville: The Cardinals continue to shine under coach Jeff Walz, whose pipeline of talent is impressive. In the last two years the Cardinals are a combined 68-6, four of the losses coming against teams in the top five of the AP poll. With Durr leading the way in her final season, the Cardinals are poised to make the Final Four and have that victory over the Huskies in late January to boost their confidence.

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