Maryia Moore ready for her homecoming

University of Louisville freshman Mariya Moore will have a homecoming on Sunday afternoon when the Cardinals play California at 5 p.m. in Berkley, Calif. Moore grew up about 15 minutes from the campus and has been a standout for the Cardinals this season.

It's been quite a start to a freshman season with the University of Louisville women's basketball program for Maryia Moore.

The McDonald's All-American is second on the team in scoring at 14.4 points a game, leads the Cardinals with 43 assists and has led her team in scoring five times.

Now, she gets to play in front of her home crowd.

Moore, a freshman from Salesian, Calif., will lead the Cardinals against California on Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. in the second of two West Coast games for the Cardinals (10-1). Berkley, Calif., is about 15 minutes from where she grew up.

"I am really excited," Moore said. "My mom is going crazy, telling people to either wear red or we're not letting you come. I have a lot of family coming.

"I definitely in the back of my mind of doing well out there for my family, but in the end as long as we win the game then I'm good."

The 6-foot Moore is averaging just one-tenth of a point behind fellow freshman Myisha Hines-Allen as the leader on the team. Moore is averaging 26.5 minutes - the most on the team - and averaged 4.5 rebounds a game.

In 11 starts, Moore is hitting 48.5 percent from the field and also leads the team in three-pointers at 18 of 42 - 42.9 percent.

"She's been fantastic," U of L women's coach Jeff Walz said. "She's come in and really adjusted well to what we want from our players and is doing a nice job. We're excited about what she's doing now and about what she can do in the future."

Moore was a two-time San Francisco Chronicle Player of the Year at Salesian High in Hercules, Calif., and amassed over 2,300 point, 1,100 rebounds and 850 assists during her stellar prep career.

After high school, Moore played on the USA Basketball Women's U-18 National Team that won a gold medal with Walz as an assistant coach during the summer.

And she hasn't skipped a beat at U of L.

Moore scored 22 in her debut against IUPUI and has had double figures in nine of her first 11 games. She's scored at least eight points in all 11 games.

"When she came in here she had high expectations for herself and she has lived up to that," senior Sara Hammond said. "She has gone beyond what coaches have expected of her as a freshman, having to count on her to be our best three-point shooter or score 12-14 points.

"She's becoming mentally and physically tougher. I'm really proud of her."

Moore said she hasn't surprised herself with her play but is really excited about the transition to the college game.

"He's trying to push me to do more and I know I can do more," Moore said. "I wasn't really a three-point shooter in high school but they need me to be on this team, so I have been shooting a lot. I guess my shot is not terrible."

More said she's "so excited" to be playing in front of her family and friends. But she knows she has to continue what she's been doing once she's on the floor.

"I'm excited because it's been so much fun," she said. "I'm trying to get better."

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