The women remain undefeated in ACC play, but not without a challenge against NC State. The first half had hints of becoming a good, ol’ fashioned blowout. NC State struggled from the 3-point line, which was the heart of their strategy in the first half. The Wolfpack didn’t make a basket all the way from 17:22 minutes remaining to 6:47 minutes remaining, attempting 13 shots during the drought. A mix of really, really bad luck on NC State’s behalf and really, really good defense from Louisville gave the Cards the lead at the half, 32-19.
NC State flirted with a comeback in the second half many times, bringing it within ten multiple times. Eventually, Louisville had trouble stopping the penetration attacks, and it became a six-point game. In the final minutes, the lead shortened to four. Louisville regained breathing room after Mariya Moore and Jude Schimmel made a couple of free throws. Finally, Moore made an open court lay-up within the final two minutes to elongate lead to 11. The final score was 65-58.
A few notes from the game:
-- Sara Hammond led Louisville to its intense start, and continued that aggression throughout the game. Defensively, she was a presence inside, drawing two charges. Offensively, she also made her most prominent mark in the paint, but was a threat everywhere on the court. Louisville got out-rebounded 33 to 40, but Hammond still finished with ten boards. She was 6-7 from the field and 1-1 from the 3-point line for 13 points-- coining a double-double. At one point, the announcer said something like, “How do you even guard that?” Here’s to hoping no team figures it out.
-- Mariya Moore is having an astounding freshman season, and this game was no exception. Her final layup crushed the opposition’s comeback. Her passing is phenominal, and the forward finished with four assists. She had an off-night from the 3-point line (0-5), but still managed 17 points and nine rebounds.
-- Bria Smith struggled shooting, finishing 2-8 from the field, 0-2 from the free throw line, and with only four points. Judging by her season long numbers, this game was an aberration. She did hit an important jumper at 10:29 in the second half that spread the lead to 45-33.
-- Finally, kudos to NC State’s Len’Nique Brown-Hoskin on a well-played game. At 5’5, she was the smallest player on the court but managed nine defensive rebounds and one offensive for a total of ten. She played the duration of the game, had 18 points, two steals and an assist.