Middle Tennessee beats cold-shooting No. 18 Louisville women

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Savannah Wheeler had 23 points, six rebounds and five assists, Courtney Whitson added 16 points and 10 rebounds and Middle Tennessee beat cold-shooting — and No. 18 — Louisville 67-49 Sunday night.

Middle Tennessee (5-2) won its first home game against a ranked opponent since the Lady Raiders beat No. 6 Kentucky 70-58 on December 28, 2011.

Kseniya Malashka added 15 points for Middle Tennessee (5-2).

Jalynn Gregory, Whitson and Anastasiia Boldyreva hit 3-pointers in a 15-2 run to close the second quarter before Whitson and Malashka each made a 3 to open the scoring in the second half to make it 40-25 and the Lady Raiders led by double figures the rest of the way.

No. 18 Louisville (5-4) went into the game averaging 77.0 points per contest (tops in the ACC and No. 15 nationally) this season. The Cardinals shot a season-low 28% (18 of 65) from the field, made just 4 of 21 (19%) from 3-point range and hit just 9 of 15 (60%) from the free-throw line.

Olivia Cochran scored a season-high 14 points for Louisville and Chrislyn Carr added 10. Hailey Van Lith, who went into the game ranked No. 15 nationally in scoring average (21.0 per game), finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds — her second consecutive double-double and third this season — but shot just 4 of 18 from the field.

Louisville has lost three of its last four games and four of its last six.

Van Lith hit a jumper that trimmed the Cardinals’ deficit to 26-25 with 2:58 left in the second quarter but Louisville missed its next 11 field-goal attempts before Merissah Russell hit a 3-pointer with 5:08 left in the third.

Louisville went into the game having forced at least 18 turnovers each game and averaging 21.12 forced turnovers per game (most in the ACC) this season. The Lady Raiders committed a season-low 10 Sunday.

Louisville returns home to play Tuesday against SIU-Edwardsville and Middle Tennessee plays at Memphis Saturday.

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