Hannah Whitish

Hannah Whitish looks to pass the ball at the Husker game against Southern Illinois at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Nov. 11, 2017, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Nebraska women’s basketball team took its third loss in four games, falling to the No. 5 Louisville Cardinals 85-68 on Thursday.

Louisville went far in last year’s NCAA Tournament, eventually losing to Mississippi State in overtime in the Final Four.

Nebraska started off strong against the Cardinals, leading 11-10 with four minutes left in the first quarter. This was the last time Nebraska held the lead in the game, as Louisville took the lead and never looked back. Louisville went on a 11-3 run to take a 21-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was much closer, as Louisville was only able to outscore the Huskers 19-17 to take a 40-31 halftime lead. By the time the game reached halftime, Nebraska outshot the Cardinals. Nebraska shot 54.5 percent in the first half and 33.3 percent from the three-point line, while Louisville only shot 51.5 percent total and 25 percent from three.

Ball security was truly the difference in the first half, as Louisville scored 13 points off 13 Nebraska turnovers and added five second chance points off three offensive rebounds.

Louisville won the third quarter as well, as it outscored the Huskers 22-19 in the period. Nebraska regained hope late in the quarter as a three pointer from sophomore forward Taylor Kissinger cut the lead down to eight, but Louisville quickly answered by scoring two straight baskets to end the quarter and take a 12-point lead into the fourth.

In the fourth quarter, the Huskers could just not hang on to keep the game close. Louisville sealed the game in the fourth quarter with a 12-1 run that extended its lead to 24 points with under four minutes left in the game. Nebraska scored the next nine points, but it was too little, too late, as Louisville walked away with a comfortable 17-point win.

Louisville played a complete game, dominating on both sides of the ball and leading for 92 percent of the game. Offensively, Louisville shot 51.6 percent while Nebraska only shot 42.3 percent. Defensively, Louisville created opportunities by forcing 23 Nebraska turnovers.

Louisville senior guard Asia Durr, an All-American and reigning ACC Player of the Year, led the charge for the Cardinals with 25 points and eight assists.

For Nebraska, senior forward Maddie Simon led the team in scoring with 16 points. Junior guard Hannah Whitish and freshman guard Sam Haiby also scored in double figures, with 15 points and 12 points, respectively.

The Huskers will look to bounce back as they finish off a five-game road trip against in-state rival Creighton University on Sunday in Omaha, Nebraska.