--By Mike Gilpatrick
--photo by River City Cards staff
The Louisville Cardinals have lost five straight in South Bend. Notre Dame defeated the Cardinals 82-68, despite the game being close for most of the first three periods.
Notre Dame’s key to the game was officiating. The Irish had 29 points come from the line.
Not all of the fouls called were accurate- for example, Arica Carter was kicked in the face by Arike Ogunbowale with 1:56 left in the third; and was called for a foul. In most games of basketball, kicking is against the rules. Apparently not in South Bend. It was a three-point game at the time. Ogunbowale was also credited with seven free-throws within the last 27 seconds of the game.
In total, the Irish were allowed 39 free throw attempts. Louisville had 16. Louisville would have won if there were not even half as many Irish free-throws. The Cardinals had more chances from the field, and made more field goals and three-pointers.
Louisville wasn’t perfect, and hit just 38 percent from the field and 20 percent from three.
Notre Dame led by one at the end of the first quarter. The Cardinals had a three-point lead with 39 seconds left in the period, but Ogunbowale hit four consecutive free-throws.
Asia Durr kicked off the second period with a pair of free throws, and a layup. It helped Louisville to a 7-1 run in the first three minutes. It gave Louisville a six-point lead. Later on in the period, the Cardinals had a seven-point lead, before Notre Dame began hitting free-throws in the final three minutes. The Irish ended the half with a 7-2 run, all points coming from the line.
Louisville led 35-33 entering the second half. The Cardinals had seven free-throw points in the third period. Then, after the Carter “foul,” Notre Dame ended the period on a 7-0 run, and a 10-point lead.
The Cardinals made it a game with less than two minutes to play. Durr kicked off the fourth with a three-point basket. The Cardinals began chipping away at Notre Dame’s lead- going on an 14-4 run that brought the Cardinals within two. Then, Muffet McGraw and Co. ended the game on a 14-2 run, with the last five points coming from the line.
Ogunbowale ended the game with 30 points, assisted by 12 free-throws. Durr came close to the star Irish player, scoring 29 points herself.
The Cardinals return to the KFC Yum! Center on Sunday, January 13th, at 2:00 pm to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.