LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville finished a grueling start to its season on an emphatic note.
Asia Durr scored 26 points and the No. 5 Cardinals dominated early with defense, beating No. 10 Oregon 74-61 Sunday in the preseason women's NIT final.
This was the fifth game in a span of 10 days for Louisville. In that span, the Cardinals (5-0) knocked off three top 25 teams — including two top 10 squads — as well as another team that made the NCAA Tournament last season.
Cardinals coach Jeff Walz was worried that the stretch would drain his team more mentally than physically and keep them from a perfect start.
"Five-and-(zero) shows the character of these young women," he said.
Durr had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first quarter, but then she drew her second foul in the first minute of the second. She sat for 8:54, and yet the Cardinals built their lead to as much as 42-24.
The Ducks (3-1), who beat No. 19 Texas A&M on the road in a Thursday semifinal, looked more than a little weary from five days of cross-country travel, but coach Kelly Graves said his team wouldn't use that as an excuse.
"They beat us tonight," he said. "There's no other way to put it. They were better right from the get-go."
Louisville forced 14 turnovers and got 13 points from their reserves in taking a 16-point lead at halftime.
Oregon drew within 64-53 midway through the fourth quarter, but never got closer.
Myisha Hines-Allen, the tournament MVP, added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Cardinals.
Oregon, which shot just 44.4 percent, was led by Ruthy Hebard's 14 points.
MVP: Myisha Hines-Allen (Louisville)
Asia Durr (Louisville)
Ruthy Hebard (Oregon)
Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon)
Katelynn Flaherty (Michigan)
Chennedy Carter (Texas A&M)