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#2 Louisville falls to #1 Notre Dame 82-68

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NCAA Womens Basketball: Louisville at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve waited an hour after this game to calm myself before writing this otherwise you, my gentle readers, might be scandalized by the language that this game inspired from me. Notre Dame is consistently one of the most physical teams in the nation. They push, they elbow, they grab. It’s what they’re taught to do. Fine. But given that fact, it was curious how at one point in the 3rd quarter SIX Louisville players had 3 fouls apiece whereas Notre Dame players had six fouls TOTAL. The commentators were effusive in their praise of how much more aggressive in the second half Arike Ogunbowale was, but did not mention that it’s easier to be aggressive when you finish a game with 2 fouls as opposed to starting a game with 2 fouls in the first 3 minutes like Jazmine Jones.

/deep breaths/

Still, despite what the final score indicates Louisville held the lead much of the game and was right in it with under three minutes to go. Freshman Mykasa Robinson gave the Cards valuable minutes and cut the Notre Dame lead to just 2 points with 2:43 left in the game. However, Ogunbowale came up with some big shots to keep Notre Dame on top and give the Irish the victory.

Asia Durr led the Cards in scoring with 29. Bionca Dunham added 10 points and 7 rebounds. Arica Carter finished the game with 9 points but was just 1 of 7 on 3 pointers after her hot shooting night against Duke. Mykasa finished the game with 6 points but Coach Walz said, “I thought Mykasa came in the game and just played outstanding for us. In 12 minutes she was a difference-maker...Her minutes are going to go up.”

Coach Jeff Walz also said, “Obviously it was not the result that we wanted. We got this thing down to 2 then we ended up taking some poor shots...But overall I was really proud of our effort. It was a a great environment in here and our kids handled it.”

However he added, “But we got exposed. Every area that I’ve been telling our players you’ve got to work on we got exposed in.” Specifically, “Rebounding was a big problem for us [32-48] but overall defensively I thought we did a pretty good job. You know, we’ve got to learn how to defend without fouling. We put them at the free throw line 39 times. And then a few of these intentional fouls at the end were crap....And that one skirmish on the floor they came over and said, ‘You know she kicked but she didn’t make contact. She didn’t LAND the kick.’ So if I throw a few haymakers as long as I don’t make contact then it’s not a problem? So I was a little dumbfounded by that statement.”

Louisville returns back home this Sunday, January 13th. They play Georgia Tech at 2:00.