ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — Louisville coach Jeff Walz wasn’t about to overstate the significance of beating the country’s top-ranked team during a late November tournament in the Caribbean.
The eighth-ranked Cardinals handed No. 1 Oregon its first loss of the season, getting 18 points and 15 rebounds from Kylee Shook in a 72-62 victory Saturday in the Paradise Jam tournament.
“It’s just a great win ... but at the same time, it’s not putting us in the Final Four,” Walz said. “It’s a win in November. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve got to get better. But it shows our kids that if you follow the scouting reports and play hard and play aggressive like we did tonight, we can play with anybody.”
Dana Evans scored 17 points, Elizabeth Balogun had 11 points and Jazmine Jones scored 10 for the Cardinals (8-0) to claim the tournament’s Island Division title.
Satou Sabally scored 21 points to lead four players in double figures for the Ducks (6-1), who led by as many as 11 points early before Louisville took control.
Minyon Moore added 15 points, Sabrina Ionescu scored 13 and Ruthy Hebard had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Oregon, which trailed by nine points entering the fourth quarter.
The Ducks managed to close within six points twice, the last at 66-60 on Ionescu’s 3-pointer with 1:32 left. Evans and Jones made 6 of 6 free throws to give Louisville some breathing room down the stretch.
“They wanted it more than us, basically, and they played like it,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. “They were more intense and physical, and we got out of the way we want to play or normally play. We got very 1-on-1-minded, and we’re just not built that way. We were completely out of sync, and credit them for doing a good job of getting us out of sync.”
The Ducks had control in the first quarter, racing to a 24-13 lead by the end of the period on Ionescu’s layup with 48 seconds left.
However, the Cardinals rallied in the second quarter to tie the game twice, the last at 32-all on Balogun’s jumper with 1:40 left.
That began a 7-0 run by Louisville, with Evans’ 3-pointer 30 seconds later putting them ahead 35-32, and Shook’s layup gave the Cardinals a 37-32 halftime lead.
Louisville stretched its lead to as many as 12 points in the third quarter, going up 44-32 on Noriko Konno’s jumper with 7:32 left, and were ahead 51-42 heading into the final period.
“We had our heads up, and coach gave us a great game plan,” Shook said. “We just went out knowing that to keep it close, we had to defend and we’ve got to execute and do our best.
Georgia 77, Virginia Tech 72
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The Bulldogs (6-2) scored 20 points off of 22 turnovers in handing the Hokies (6-1) their first loss of the season at the Daytona Beach Invitational.
Tech led in field goal percentage (46.4-43.8), rebounds (44-26) and made 3-pointers (10-1) but a 26-16 Georgia third-quarter advantage made the difference.
Tech’s Dara Mabry led all scorers with 24 points, and was joined in double digit scoring by Taja Cole with 17 points and Aisha Sheppard with 12 and Trinity Baptiste pulled down a game high 10 rebounds.
Georgia was paced by Gabby Connally with 22 points and Jenna Staiti with 16.
William Fleming grad Malury Bates scored two points and grabbed two rebounds as a reserve for the Bulldogs.
Virginia 55, James Madison 49
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Jocelyn Willoughby netted a game-high 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in leading the Cavaliers (4-3) to a win in their Cavalier Classic.
Virginia jumped out to a 23-7 first-quarter lead, but strong second and third quarters put the Dukes (5-2) up by four points and their lead increased to eight early in the fourth quarter.
However, the Cavs came back in the final period, with Willoughby scoring 13 points in the final 6:33 to power the Hoos to a 10-point fourth quarter advantage to provide the final margin of victory.
Morehead State 73, Radford 62
MOREHEAD, Ky. — The Eagles (3-4) had four players score in double figures, led by Breuna Jackson with a game-high 17 points, in topping the visiting Highlanders (2-4).
Radford was led by Amele Ngwafang with 14 points, Tina Lindenfeld with 11 points and Aiden Rainford with 10.
Southern Virginia 68, Maryville (Tenn.) 56
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Trailing by 13 at the half, the Knights (6-1) outscored the Scots 48-23 in the second half, including scoring the final nine points of the game, to come away with the Pat Deacon Tournament championship.
Savanna Christensen led all scorers with 19 points, Katie Garrish netted 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds and Sophie Wright added 11 points for Southern Virginia.
Elsa Eckenrod scored 15 points and Libby Gardner 12 for Maryville (5-2).