cards repeat against irish, win acc tournament
By Mike Gilpatrick
March 4th, 2018
March 4th, 2018
For the first time, the Louisville Cardinals are ACC Champions! They defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 74-72. It was a repeat of a regular-season matchup.
In that matchup, Louisville surprised Notre Dame with a 30+ point win.
This time, it was much closer. In fact, it went as many expected. But this time, the game was on a huge stage: the ACC Championship.
Five women scored in double-digits. Myisha Hines-Allen had close to a double-double, 15 points, and nine boards. She was tied for third on the scoresheet with Sam Fuehring, behind Asia Durr and Arica Carter, in point total. Durr had 17, Carter had 16.
In the first half, Louisville trailed 37-35. Scoring went back-and-forth.
Jaz Jones opened scoring with a layup 16-seconds in. Then, it was close. Louisville's largest lead was five points, after the Cards went on a 10-2 run in the mid-late first quarter. Notre Dame went on a 7-0 run shortly after. Five of the points came from the line. Jones hit a jump-shot to end the quarter.
The second went similarly. The Irish hit a 6-0 run, followed by a 7-2 Cardinal run. Notre Dame did end the period on a 4-0 run. They won the quarter, 16-14.
Overall, Louisville hit 48.4 percent from the field, and hit 4 for 8 from beyond the arc. Arica Carter had nine points, the most of any Louisville scorer.
The offense came alive in the third. Louisville outscored Notre Dame 20-13. They hit over 57 percent in the period. The Cards forced four turnovers, and out-rebounded the Irish 7-6. The majority of scoring came on two mini-runs, a 5-0, and 6-0 run. Heading into the fourth, the Cards led 55-50.
Then, the final quarter was much more stressful. Louisville went on an 5-0 run early. The Cards had an eight-point lead. Then, Notre Dame came storming back. The Irish went on an 10-3 run, cutting Louisville's lead to one. Hines-Allen hit a jumper, Notre Dame countered with another.
Entering the final minute, Louisville only had a one-point lead. With 24 left, Sam Fuehring hit a crucial layup. Three-point lead. Notre Dame fouled Fuehring, and she hit one free-throw. Four-points. Notre Dame's Jessica Shephard made a basket, two-points. Arica Carter was fouled, and hit both free-throws. Four-point lead.
Asia Durr hit two more free-throws. Louisville finalized the score.
Overall, the Cards hit 41.9 percent from the field, and were 7 for 18 from three.
As eluded to above, this is the first ACC title the Louisville Cardinals women's basketball team has won. Louisville clinched a spot in the NCAA tournament, where they'll hopefully win a trophy that matters more than any other: the national championship. More than likely, Louisville will be the No. 1 seed in the Lexington region. The first two rounds will likely be in Louisville.