--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photos by Jared Anderson
The Louisville Cardinals won a close game to open ACC play. Jeff Walz’s squad pulled off the 73-66 win over North Carolina to win their first game in ACC play. While the Cardinals lost the second-half, their first-half lead was great enough to lead them over the Tar Heels.
Sophomore guard Dana Evans put up 10 first-half points against the 9-5 Tar Heels. She led first-half scorers, and was a big part of Louisville’s 40-23 halftime lead. The Cardinals shot 45.5 percent from the field, and dominated the first-half rebounding game 28-15. Kylee Shook had seven first-half boards.
Bionca Dunham hit a layup to open the game within the first 17 seconds. Dana Evans hit a three less than 30 seconds later. UNC scored four, and Louisville responded with a five point-run. The Cardinals led 21-11 after the first period.
Asia Durr hit a jump shot 33 seconds into the second quarter. UNC hit two free-throws to counter. The Cardinals then went on an 8-2 run lasting until the halfway point of the period. The Cardinals outscored the Heels 19-12 entering halftime.
The second half was all North Carolina. The Heels shot the same second-half percent as Louisville, and had two more three-point baskets. The Heels also benefitted from eight more made free-throws, hitting 15 of 17 from the line. Jazmine Jones and Arica Carter helped Louisville’s case in the half, grabbing double-digits scoring each.
UNC stormed out of the gates. Early in the third period, the Heels went on a 10-2 run, which cut Louisville’s lead to 11. Then, within the last four minutes, North Carolina hit an 11-2 run, cutting Louisville’s lead to eight. Jazmine Jones hit a layup with four seconds left, giving Louisville the 10-point lead with ten minutes to play.
Louisville nearly lost the lead in the fourth quarter. UNC came within two points four times in the last quarter. The first time was after a 9-0 run, that ended with 7:12 left. Jazmine Jones made a layup. Then, Janelle Bailey hit a pair of free-throws with 5:11 left. Arica Carter made a jumper about a minute and a half later. Paris Kea hit a layup at the 2:13 mark. Then, Bailey made a layup and a free-throw with under 1:30 left.
Louisville hit enough free-throws in the final minute to secure the seven-point win.
The 13-0 Cardinals hit the road Sunday, and will take on the Duke Blue Devils at 2pm. The Cardinals return home on Sunday, January 13th at 2pm against Georgia Tech.