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

Jason Owens
·2 min read
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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. The All-America guard powered Louisville to a 29-14 halftime lead and repeatedly thwarted second-half Oregon runs in a 60-42 win to secure a Cardinals berth in the Elite Eight.

Career high for Louisville 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)
Dana Evans tied a career high in Sunday's Sweet 16 win. (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.

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 hobbled by injuries

Oregon, which lost leading scorer and rebounder Nyara Sabally to a rolled ankle late in the third, would not threaten again. The Ducks also played much of the game without point guard Maddie Scherr, who left in the first half with an ankle injury.

Evans' 29 points more than doubled the game's next highest scorers as she connected on 11 of 21 field goals including 3-of-8 from 3-point distance. Kianna Smith added 11 points and five rebounds for Louisville, while Sabally and Erin Boley paced Oregon with 14 points each.

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

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