After a back-and-forth opening three quarters, top-seeded Louisville did what it had to in the final frame to pull away from pesky Wake Forest and notch a 65-53 win its ACC tournament opener Friday afternoon.
Freshman Hailey Van Lith was the star of stars for the Cards, drilling six threes and scoring a season-high 24 points to carry U of L on a rare off-day for ACC Player of the Year Dana Evans. Two of Van Lith’s triples came during a critical 13-0 run in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach from the ninth-seeded Demon Deacons.
Evans, whose three-point play in the final seconds lifted Louisville to victory in its only regular season meeting against Wake, finished just 3-of-15 from the field.
With the win, Louisville continues its streak of having advanced to the league tournament semifinals in each of its seven seasons as a member of the ACC.
U of L will now take on either No. 4 seed Florida State (the team that defeated the Cards last week) or No. 5 seed Syracuse Saturday at noon. The ACC Network will have the TV coverage.
Here’s hoping Dana being able to save her legs a little bit today will help with tomorrow and (fingers crossed) Sunday’s contests, but for now, it’s nice to know that someone else can step up and play hero in March if need be.