Louisville's Asia Durr wins espnW player of the week honor among crowded field

In a week with no shortage of quality player of the week candidates, Louisville senior Asia Durr emerged on top as she helped lead the Cardinals past UConn for the first time in 26 years. Jamie Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports

Editor's note: Charlie Creme, Graham Hays and Mechelle Voepel each vote to determine espnW's national player of the week, which is awarded every week of the women's college basketball season.

Considering women's basketball in the past few days had a quadruple-double (by Grambling State's Shakyla Hill), a triple-double (Duke's Haley Gorecki) and back-to-back huge games against archrivals (Cal's Kristine Anigwe), how did we pick the espnW player of the week? It wasn't easy.

But ultimately, Louisville's Asia Durr earned the honor for a performance in a home game she'll never forget.

The 5-foot-10 senior guard was the projected No. 2 pick in the first edition of espnW's WNBA mock draft on Wednesday, and the way she took over the second quarter in Thursday's 78-69 victory over No. 2 UConn showed why Durr seems likely to be a lottery selection. She scored when the Huskies were doing everything right to stop her.

Durr had 14 of her 24 points in the second quarter. And it was key that the Cardinals never let the Huskies run away from them as they did in the previous season's matchup in Connecticut. This one stayed close throughout, and Louisville finally secured its first victory over UConn since 1993.

There were 17,023 on hand at the KFC Yum! Center, and you could tell the crowd really wanted this for Durr, a fan favorite who has already taken her place among all-time Louisville women's basketball greats.

Durr had sat out the game before UConn -- against Pittsburgh -- to rest her knee. She looked none the worse for wear against the Huskies, making 8 of 18 shots, including five from behind the arc.

Saturday, there was no hangover effect for the Cardinals: They soundly beat Clemson 76-44, with Durr having 12 points and four assists. Louisville, Notre Dame and NC State -- which lost Sunday for the first time this season -- are all tied atop the ACC at 8-1. The Cardinals have already faced the Fighting Irish -- resulting in Louisville's lone loss -- and they meet the Wolfpack on Feb. 28 in Louisville.

Durr often jokes that she doesn't understand why opponents triple-team her, considering her teammates are effective scorers, too. But she's a lethal scorer. Durr is averaging 20.8 PPG and shooting 45.1 percent from the field, 35 percent from 3-point range.

Her biggest goal is still out there: win a national championship. Games like last Thursday's are key potential stepping stones.

Also considered: Kristine Anigwe, Cal; Reyna Frost, Central Michigan; Haley Gorecki, Duke; Ruthy Hebard, Oregon; Shakyla Hill, Grambling State; Megan Huff, Utah; Tynice Martin, West Virginia; Destiny Slocum, Oregon State; Stephanie Watts, North Carolina

Previous winners: Kristine Anigwe, Cal (Nov. 12) | Kierra Anthony, Louisiana Tech (Nov. 19) | Jackie Young, Notre Dame (Nov. 26) | Christyn Williams, UConn (Dec. 3) | Jenna Allen, Michigan State (Dec. 10) | Alanna Smith, Stanford (Dec. 17) | Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (Dec. 24) | Katie Benzan, Harvard (Dec. 31) | Kalani Brown, Baylor (Jan. 7) | Cierra Dillard, Buffalo (Jan. 14) | Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State (Jan. 21) | Paris Kea, North Carolina (Jan. 28)