- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - No. 8 Louisville has made a habit of starting slow and slipping into deep deficits.

Duke showed the Cardinals just how dangerous that can be.

The 15th-ranked Blue Devils beat Louisville 66-58 on Monday night behind 17 points from freshman Azura Stevens.

The Cardinals never led, missed 11 of their first 12 shots and came up empty on seven consecutive possessions down the stretch.

“We could have easily gotten beat by 30,” coach Jeff Walz said. “I was proud that we continued to fight.”

The Cardinals erased early double-figure deficits in wins over Pittsburgh, Wake Forest and most recently Miami. They escaped a 20-point deficit against Florida State, only to fade down the stretch in a 68-63 loss to the Seminoles.

Sara Hammond scored 17 points and Mariya Moore had 14 for the Cardinals (19-3, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot 35 percent.

“We’re not the type of basketball team that can just go out and just play,” coach Jeff Walz said. “We’ve got to follow a scouting report to a T. When we do that, we’re pretty talented. But we can’t just roll the ball out and say, ‘Hey, let’s play 5 on 5.’”

Duke never trailed and went up by 17 before Louisville chipped away at that lead, pulling to 56-49 on Bria Smith’s layup with about 4 minutes to play. The Cardinals didn’t score on any of their next seven possessions before Jude Schimmel’s 3 made it 62-52 with 27.7 seconds remaining.

Schimmel, who added another 3 with 2 seconds left, finished with 11 points.

Elizabeth Williams scored all 11 of her points in the second half while blocking five shots for Duke (16-6, 7-2).

Oderah Chidom added 14 points and Rebecca Greenwell had 13 points with three 3-pointers in the second half to help the Blue Devils win their third straight.

The Blue Devils overcame 22 turnovers by shooting 47 percent, forcing the Cardinals into two prolonged shooting droughts, and holding a 43-35 rebounding advantage.

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RECORD BOOK

Williams, who also finished with nine rebounds, scored in double figures for the 100th time in her career. She moved three points from matching Sue Harnett (1,785 points) for fourth place on the school’s career scoring list and needs seven blocked shots to reach 400 for her career.

IN THE POLLS

Louisville fell to 3-3 against ranked teams and hasn’t beaten a team ranked higher than Iowa, which was 22nd at the time. The Cardinals’ three losses have come to teams currently ranked in the top 15 (No. 9 Florida State, No. 11 Kentucky and now Duke).

TIP-INS

Louisville: This marked the first trip back to Duke for Cardinals assistant Samantha Williams, who was on the Blue Devils’ staff from 2007-11 and recruited the 2010 class that led the team to three straight NCAA regional final appearances from 2011-13.

Duke: The Blue Devils’ bench was scoreless for the second time in four games. … They entered averaging 18.4 turnovers per game - their worst since they averaged 19.4 in 1990-91.

UP NEXT

Louisville plays host to Pittsburgh on Feb. 8.

Duke is at Wake Forest on Thursday night.

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Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at https://twitter.com/joedyap


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