By Dalton Ray —
Fourth-ranked women’s basketball (32-2) has completed the sweep of the ACC titles by defeating Notre Dame 74-72 in the ACC conference tournament championship. Louisville entered the tournament as No. 1 seed after winning the regular season title going 19-1 in conference.
All five starters scored in double figures as the Cardinals only committed six turnovers. Junior Asia Durr scored 17 points and redshirt junior Arica Carter added 16.
Senior Myisha Hines-Allen scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Sophomore Jazmine Jones carried the team on the offensive end early and finished with 11 points and six assists.
Seven minutes into the third quarter, Carter’s three gave Louisville a 17-12 lead. Notre Dame responded with a 7-0 to regain the lead.
Foul trouble started to hurt the Cardinals by the end of the quarter as Hines-Allen, Jones and junior Sam Fuehring all had two each.
The up-and-down pace continued into the second quarter. Durr hit her first 3-pointer midway through the quarter to give Louisville a 33-31 lead.
Notre Dame scored just before halftime, giving them a 37-35 lead.
Hines-Allen and Durr combined for 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Carter and Jones kept the Cardinals afloat in the half combining for 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Louisville only committed three turnovers in the half.
Trailing by five, Louisville gained the lead behind Durr and Carter 3-pointers. A pair of Hines-Allen layups made it 47-46 halfway through the third quarter.
The Cardinals continued to take care of the ball and led 55-50 going into the fourth quarter.
Carter pushed the lead to seven with a jumper at the start of the fourth, leading to a Notre Dame timeout.
Notre Dame scored back-to-back baskets to cut the lead to four. On the following Louisville possession, Hines-Allen gathered the offensive rebound and kicked it to Durr for the 3-pointer.
The Irish used a 10-3 run to cut the lead to one with 2:49 to play.
With 57 seconds to play, Durr’s tight defense forced a shot clock violation to give the ball back to U of L. Hines-Allen found Fuehring on the block, who finished through the foul.
Leading by four with 15 seconds to play, Louisville sealed the win when Hines-Allen poked the ball free and Durr dove on the loose ball.
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.
Photo by Taris Smith / The Louisville Cardinal