LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville coach Jeff Walz knew the Cardinals couldn't stop the entire Connecticut team.
So they tried to leave some players alone, hoping for a bad shooting night.
Caroline Doty did not accommodate the strategy, making 5 of 11 3 pointers to help the Huskies hold off No. 20 Louisville 56-46 Tuesday night.
"They are such a good team that you've got to pick your poison," Walz said.
Tiffany Hayes added nine points and 11 rebounds before fouling out for UConn (22-2, 10-1 Big East).
"We made just enough plays in the end," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "Caroline just bailed us out."
Shoni Schimmel led Louisville (17-7, 6-5) with 20 points and eight rebounds. Sara Hammond added 10 points, eight of which came in the second half.
"We couldn't buy a bucket in the first half," coach Jeff Walz said. "We missed point blank layups to start the game and you can't do that if you want to win in the Big East."
The Huskies held Louisville to just two field goals in the final 12 minutes of the first half and led 33-17 at the break.
Louisville cut the Huskies' lead to 46-40, but Bria Hartley made a 3-pointer from the left corner.
"We went out there and we just kept working our defense," Schimmel said. "Our defense paid off for our offense."
UConn gave Louisville its first home loss this season, snapping a 12-game home winning streak for the Cardinals. Louisville has now lost three straight overall after dropping both its last two road games against DePaul and West Virginia by double digits.
"I thought today showed a lot," Walz said. "I thought if UConn came out and jumped on us quick, with the way we have been playing that we would just fold. For us, we came out and continued to fight and I'm excited about that."
The Huskies entered the game holding opponents to a national-best 30 percent shooting. They held Louisville to 25 percent.
"We've got to keep working the ball around and not play like our heads on fire, as Coach would say," Doty said. "We've just got to stay composed and know that they're not going to back down."
Louisville played without center Cierra Warren. Walz announced after game that the sophomore had left the team. A transfer from North Carolina, Warren had started 10 games this season and averaged eight points and 4.5 rebounds.
Warren's loss is another blow for the Cardinals who previously lost two of their top three returning scorers, Tia Gibbs and Monique Reid, to season-ending injuries.