#3 Cards set to host #2 Notre Dame in ACC showdown

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - No. 3 Louisville (18-0, 4-0) hosts No. 2 Notre Dame (15-1, 4-0) on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

As it has been well documented, the Cardinals enter the game with an 18-0 record, marking the best start and the longest winning streak in program history. They are one of four remaining undefeated teams in the country and their 18 victories are the most in women's basketball. 

UofL opens league play with a 4-0 record for the first time since 2015-16. That season they won their first 10 ACC games and finished with a 15-1 league record. 

Senior Myisha Hines-Allen tied a season high with 15 rebounds in the Cardinals' 67-56 win over Virginia Tech on Sunday. In doing so, she moved into second place in school history with 953 rebounds, passing Jazz Covington. She now ranks second in school history in both rebounds and double-doubles (35). 

She averages 13.4 points per game, which ranks second on the team, and 9.7 rebounds, which leads the ACC and ranks 38th in the country. She leads the ACC with 6.6 defensive rebounds per game and her 175 total rebounds rank 13th in the nation. She has scored in double figures in six of her last seven games and 13 times this season.

Twice last week, junior guard Asia Durr exploded in the first quarter en route to 20-plus point performances. In the win vs. Duke on Thursday, she had 22 points, including 14 in the first quarter, and followed that with 21 points against Virginia Tech, including 16 in the first stanza. She shot 15-of-27 overall and 8-of-14 from downtown in the two wins. 

She has scored in double figures in her last 10 games and has 14 double-digit scoring games this season, including eight 20-point games. She has seven career 30-point games and 30 career 20-point games. She has made at least three 3-pointers in her last seven games and is 28-of-50 (.560) from deep during that stretch.

She ranks third in the ACC and 31st in the country with 20.2 points per game. Her 24.5 points-per-game in ACC play leads the league. Her 56 made 3-point field goals lead the ACC and rank 10th in the country, while her 47.5 3-point field goal percentage ranks second in the league and seventh in the nation. 

Junior Sam Fuehring ranks second in the ACC with a 62.4 shooting percentage, knocking down 63-of-101 shots. She is 17-of-21 (.810) in four ACC games, which leads the league.

After just missing a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds vs. TSU, she recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. UK to pick up her second career double-double. She tied a career-high with 14 points against Vandy, shooting 4-of-5 from floor and 6-of-6 from the line. She has scored in double figures in five of her last nine games, including her last two.

The Cards look to continue to get off to hot starts against the Irish. Last week, they jumped out to a 21-2 lead against Virginia Tech on Sunday after leading 16-4 early against Duke on Thursday. They got out to a 15-1 lead in the first quarter and led 26-1 midway through the second quarter at NC State. 

ABOUT THE FIGHTING IRISH

Notre Dame (15-1, 4-0) enters Thursday's matchup winners of eight straight with their lone setback an 80-71 defeat at No. 1 Connecticut.

They opened conference play with wins at Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, and with home victories against Syracuse and Miami.

They have four players averaging double figures led by the ACC's leading scorer Arike Ogunbowale (20.8). Jessica Shepard (14.8), Jackie Young (13.5), and Marina Mabrey (12.5) also average double figures for the Irish.

Ogunbowale ranks second on the team with 23 made 3-pointers, shooting 33 percent from deep, while Shepard (8.1) and Young (7.3) are their leading rebounders.

Notre Dame ranks second in the ACC with 84.4 points per game and they are giving up 68.2 points, which ranks 14th.

They are leading the ACC with a 49.0 shooting percentage, ranks seventh in the nation, and 18.8 assists per game, ranks 13th in nation. They have scored 70 points in 15 of 16 games.

Series History: Louisville trails 4-14 (Home 1-5, Away 2-5, Neutral 1-4)
Last Meeting:  L, 84-73 (March 4, 2017 in ACC Tourney Semis)

UofL is 4-14 all-time against Notre Dame and have lost the last 11 matchups. Their last win came in Coach Walz's second year with the program, a 71-66 victory in South Bend. Overall, Walz is 1-12 against the Irish, including an 0-4 record at home. Last year, the Cards fell twice to Notre Dame (L, 85-66 at ND, 2/6/17; L, 84-73 ACC Semifinal, 3/4/17).

GAME FACTS
Date: Thursday, Jan. 11
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET (gates open at 5:30)
Site: KFC Yum! Center/Crum Court (22,000), Louisville, Ky.
Promotion: RED OUT, Thirsty Thursday ($3 Drinks)
TV: ESPN, Adam Amin, play-by-play; Rebecca Lobo and Kara Lawson, analysts
Radio: WKRD 790 AM, Nick Curran (play-by-play) and Adrienne Johnson (analyst)
Next UofL Game: Thursday, Jan. 18 at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. ET