Dana Evans powers Louisville past Oregon into Elite 8 showdown vs. Stanford

Dana Evans entered Sunday’s Sweet 16 game in a shooting slump, having connected on 11 of 33 field goals in NCAA play. 

She found her stroke against Oregon. Louisville’s All-America senior guard powered the Cardinals to a 29-14 halftime lead and repeatedly thwarted Oregon runs in the second half in a 60-42 win to secure a berth in the Elite Eight. 

Career high for Cardinals All-American

Evans tallied a career-high tying 29 points that included several big buckets to ensure that Oregon would not reach striking distance in the second half. She was hot from the start, nearly matching Oregon’s halftime tally of 14 with 13 points on her own. Louisville extended its 15-point halftime lead to 34-16 early in the third quarter, apparently cruising to an easy win. 

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – MARCH 28: Dana Evans #1 of the Louisville Cardinals enters the game against the Oregon Ducks in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Alamodome on March 28, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

But Oregon punched back with a 9-0 run to cut its deficit in half to 34-25 and keep the pressure on. Evans stopped the bleeding by scoring Louisville’s next seven points to maintain a 41-31 Louisville edge and halt the Ducks rally.

Oregon lost Nyara Sabally late

When Oregon forward Sedona Prince scored four straight points to start the fourth quarter and cut Louisville’s lead to 43-37, Evans answered again, this time with a personal 7-0 run that included back-to-back 3-pointers. The run extended Louisville’s lead to 50-37 midway through the fourth quarter. Oregon — which lost leading scorer and rebounder Nyara Sabally to a rolled ankle late in the third — would not threaten again. 

With the win, Louisville advances to an Elite Eight matchup against No. 1 seed Stanford on Tuesday. 

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