ALBANY, New York — Louisville coach Jeff Walz wasn't happy to lose in the Sweet 16, but with most of its offense gone from last year's team, he wasn't disappointed with the Cardinals season.
"I think it's been a great year, I'm not going to lie" he said. "There were a lot of question marks about what we were going to do. To be 27-7, I'm thrilled."
Freshman Myisha Hines-Allen scored all 14 of her points in the second half, but it was too little too late for the Cardinals, who fell to Dayton 82-66 on Saturday. She was one of two freshmen who led Louisville in scoring this season. The other, Mariya Moore (13.5 points per game), was just 1 of 7 from the floor and finished with seven points.
Andrea Hoover led all scorers with 26 points for the seventh-seeded Flyers (28-6) who beat Kentucky in the second round and will be making the program's first trip to a regional final.
"I thought the Kentucky game was the best day," Dayton coach Jim Jabir said. "And now I think this is the best day and not just because it's a trip to the Elite Eight. I think we rose to an occasion."
The Flyers shot 51 percent from the floor and made 26 of their 30 free throws. Hoover was 15 of 15 from the line, becoming the first player with a minimum of 12 attempts to shoot 100 percent from the line in a regional game. The Flyers made 11 3-pointers against the Wildcats. They were just 2 of 10 from behind the arc in this one, but outscored the Cardinals 42-34 in the paint.
Louisville was just 1 of 15 from 3-point range and shot just 31.5 percent for the game.
Jude Schimmel, the Cardinals' senior floor leader, hit just four of her 23 shots and finished with 11 points.
"It's always frustrating when you can't get shots to fall, but at the end of the day I feel like it was our defense and our rebounding that kind of lost the game for us," Schimmel said.
Dayton led by a point at halftime. But a 3-pointer from Deane capped an 11-2 run early in the second half that pushed the lead to double digits, and the Flyers never trailed after intermission
Hines-Allen picked up two fouls in the game's first two minutes and sat until intermission. She picked up her fourth foul with more than 8 minutes left and the Cardinals trailing just 58-53.
With Hines-Allen out of the game, the Flyers went on a 10-0 run to push the lead to 15 points.
"It really hurt us," Hines-Allen said of the fouls before breaking down in tears on the podium. "It was a selfish part of me, getting two early fouls."
Dayton capitalized on Hines-Allen's early foul trouble by going inside to Jodie Cornelie-Sigmundova. The 6-foot-4 center from France had eight first-half points, and Dayton used a 13-0 Dayton run to turn an 18-11 deficit into 24-18 lead.
The Flyers, who committed 14 first-half turnovers had just five in the second half.
This was the third consecutive trip to the Sweet 16 for the Cardinals who fell in the regional final to Maryland a year ago.
"This season, we kind of fell short, but I'm proud of my team and what we have done," said senior Bria Smith.
Dayton: The Flyers improved to 111-10 over their last 121 games when scoring more than 70 points, and 24-1 this season. Dayton has hit at least one three-point shot in 448 consecutive games dating back to Jan. 2, 2001.
Louisville: Cardinals coach Jeff Walz falls to 20-7 in NCAA Tournament games. His NCAA winning percentage among active coaches coming in was second only to UConn's Geno Auriemma. This was just the third time in 16 games that Louisville has lost an NCAA Tournament game when coming in as a higher seed.
Dayton plays UConn in Monday night's regional final. Dayton and UConn have played only once, a 78-38 win by the Huskies in 2011.
Louisville's season is over.