By Sam Draut–
With both teams riding a 15-game winning streak into the KFC YUM! Center and tied atop ACC standings, Louisville and Notre Dame played for major conference implications on Sunday. Notre Dame weathered a rowdy crowd and took sole possession of first place in the ACC with a 66-61 win after trailing by nine points in the second half.
Louisville (18-6 overall, 10-1 in the ACC) led 43-34 midway through the third quarter and had a six point lead with 8:30 left in the fourth quarter, but Notre Dame closed out the game on a 17-6 run.
“It’s extremely frustrating, we had the lead the entire game, part of it is maturity,” guard Briahanna Jackson said.
Notre Dame forward Brianna Turner scored on three consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter to lead the late rally. The Cardinals weren’t able to stop the 6-foot-3 post player who finished with 13 points and six rebounds.
“They did a really nice job getting the ball to Brianna Turner,” Walz said. “She is hard to handle.”
Myisha Hines-Allen countered Turner’s low-post presence for the Cardinals, the sophomore forward had 16 points and seven rebounds, but fouled out with 3:07 left.
Notre Dame (23-1 overall, 11-0 in the ACC) entered Sunday as the nation’s best three-point shooting team. The Cardinals held the second-ranked Irish to 2 of 9 from behind the arc.
“Defensively, I thought we did a great job,” Walz said. “I told our kids if we could hold them in the 60s we could win.”
Mariya Moore scored 12 points in the first half, but was held scoreless in the second half as Louisville struggled to find any offensive continuity in the closing minutes.