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Louisville survives UNC comeback to win 73-66

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NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Lexington Regional-Oregon State vs Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

It wouldn’t have been surprising for Louisville to come out rusty after a two-week break. However, tonight in their first ACC game they started out looking strong. They went into halftime with a 40-23 lead over North Carolina. However, maybe they’d been away for so long that they forgot games last two halves because in the second half they showed all the rust one would’ve expected to see from the jump. With a couple of minutes left in the game the Tar Heels cut the Cards’ lead to 2. Despite UNC only having 2 fouls in the final minute they were finally able to foul their way into the bonus and Louisville made enough free throws to clinch the victory at 73-66.

Jazmine Jones led the team with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Kylee Shook had a double-double with 10 points/11 rebounds. Arica Carter had 14 points. Asia Durr had 10 points and 6 assists.

Coach Walz’s sarcasm showed no rust after a break. When asked about what happened in the second half he said, “We decided not to guard. Our kids wanted to see if we could make this an exciting game for everybody...keep everyone around. I think they think we get a percentage of the concession sales so you keep them here for a solid two hours and they’re bound to go get another beer.” On a more serious note he added, “We got stagnant offensively. We missed some shots. They went zone. You can’t score in transition and you can’t stop them.”

Arica Carter added, “We started off the game really well. And if we would’ve done that for the second half I would’ve said that the game was great. But in the second half it was bad. Our defense was bad. Our rebounding wasn’t as good as it was the first half. We just didn’t play like we did the first half.”

Coach Walz also said, “I always like to win. I’ll take an ugly win any day....We’re 1-0 in the league. If you want to have a chance to win the ACC you have to win your home games....We’ve got a good first half to show our kids because I thought defensively we did a really good job. But. The second half is whole different story and we’ve got to learn to play a full 40 minutes.”

Next up the Cards travel to Durham to play (8-5) Duke. The game is at 2pm on Sunday, January 6th.