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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Myisha Hines-Allen is picking up her play just as the eighth-ranked Louisville Cardinals are heading into their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule.
The ACC player of the year last season and preseason pick to repeat had a double-double by halftime Wednesday night and finished with 24 points and a career-high 15 rebounds helping the Cardinals beat Vanderbilt 78-66.
"That's something that we're going to need," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "She has the ability to do that every night. I mean that's what she did the entire ACC season all last year. Now we're going to need that consistency from her."
Hines-Allen had 12 rebounds and hit six of eight shots by halftime, and she played 39 minutes in helping Louisville (12-2) win its sixth straight. She notched her third double-double in the past seven games. Now the Cardinals can have a few days off before their ACC opener on Dec. 29.
"It feels good going into this break and just knowing that we have Syracuse coming back up, so we can't get too lackadaisical on this break," Hines-Allen said. "We still have to work and get better because there are some things we have to improve on."
Asia Durr added 16 points for the Cardinals.
Rachel Bell scored 21 points as Vanderbilt (10-2) saw its nine-game winning streak end. Cierra Walker added 12 points, and Lealea Carter and Kayla Overbeck each had 10.
The teams swapped the lead four times in the opening minutes before Briahanna Jackson's layup broke a 7-7 tie with 7 minutes to go to give Louisville the lead for good.
Under first-year coach Stephanie White, the Commodores stayed close playing aggressively and getting to the free throw line, outshooting Louisville 18 of 27 compared to 9 of 14. Finishing in the paint was an issue for Vanderbilt against Louisville's defense.
"They turned up the pressure," White said. "They're athletic. They're long. They're quick, and they made us make decisions and get to third and fourth options in our offense that other teams haven't made us do. I think its going to help us in the long run, but I'm just proud of the way we battled."
Bell scored eight straight, including the first seven of the third quarter, to pull Vanderbilt within 48-45. Sydney Zambrotta hit a 3-pointer for Louisville's first bucket of the quarter with 7:24 to go to pad the lead. Louisville led 58-53 after an ugly third quarter when the teams combined to hit just 8 of 34 shots.
Cierra Walker opened the fourth with a 3-pointer that pulled Vanderbilt within 58-56. Hines-Allen scored the next five points as Louisville finally got some breathing room against the Commodores who didn't get closer than six down the stretch. Louisville pushed the lead to double digits on a layup by Durr with 44 seconds left.
Louisville: The Cardinals now get a few days off before starting their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. ... They now have five wins against teams from the state of Tennessee, adding Vanderbilt to victories over UT Martin, Belmont, Middle Tennessee and Chattanooga.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores had their worst shooting game so far this season (21 of 67, 31.3 percent). ... Marqu'es Webb played 21 minutes and had four points despite being taken off the court in Vandy's last game on a stretcher with a back issue. ... Rebekah Dahlman, who's been dealing with a sore hamstring, scored six points in 12 minutes.
Vanderbilt has no player taller than 6-foot-1, while the Cardinals came in with six 6-2 or taller. Louisville only got one more rebound than the Commodores (45-44) but dominated inside the paint with a 48-26 scoring edge.
Louisville: Host Syracuse on Dec. 29.
Vanderbilt: Visits Memphis on Dec. 28.