Feb. 21, 2009
Angel McCoughtry's family traveled up Interstate-95 from her hometown of Baltimore and cheered every time Louisville's stellar senior touched the basketball.
There was a whole lot to be excited about.
Playing in front of about 50 friends and relatives, McCoughtry scored 34 points and added nine rebounds to lead No. 8 Louisville to a 70-56 win over Villanova on Saturday.
McCoughtry, who leads the Cardinals in scoring, rebounding and steals, was 15-for-23 from the field.
"You just want to give a good show, period," said McCoughtry, who scored 23 of her points in the second half. "You want people to come and say, Hey, Louisville is somebody to watch. You want to show people you're as good as anybody."
Candyce Bingham added 12 and Keshia Hines had 10 for Louisville (25-3, 12-2 Big East), which is off to its best start after 28 games in school history. The Cardinals shot 57 percent (27-for-47) from the field.
"I thought we used our athleticism to get up and down the floor," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said.
Laura Kurz scored 18 points and Maria Getty added 10 for Villanova (17-10, 9-4), which has dropped two straight after reeling off a seven-game winning streak. It's the second consecutive loss to a ranked team since falling 70-54 at No. 19 Pittsburgh last Wednesday.
"We came out in the second half and I thought we were flat in the first five or six minutes," Villanova coach Harry Perretta said. "They just jumped on us."
The Wildcats are 2-4 against ranked teams and are in a stretch of four games in a row against ranked teams. They travel to top-ranked and undefeated Connecticut on Tuesday.
"This is a tough stretch for us," Kurz said. "That's what the Big East is. We can only learn from these games and they can only help us."
Villanova got within 42-38 on a 3-pointer by Siobhan OConnor with 13:18 remaining.
Louisville responded with a 10-0 run, including eight straight points by McCoughtry, to take a commanding 52-38 advantage with 10:44 left.
McCoughtry, who scored at least 30 points for the sixth time this season, scored in various ways by hitting a 3-pointer, scored inside and then added a three-point play as the Cardinals pulled away.
"She's as good as there is," Walz said of McCoughtry.
Louisville led by as many as six points in the first half.
Villanova rallied hitting five 3-pointers to keep the game close while the Cardinals didn't attempt one from beyond the arc.
Louisville leads the all-time series against Villanova 4-0.