No. 13 Louisville welcomed No. 3 Notre Dame to the KFC Yum! Center for a nationally televised contest and for a little more than 30 minutes it appeared that the surging Cardinals would claim a significant victory and sole possession of first place in the ACC.
Fueled by a hot-shooting Mariya Moore, who poured in eight first quarter points, the host Cardinals jumped out to a 24-19 advantage after the initial period. Louisville's lead would grow to nine at 35-26 with 1:33 left to play in the first half, before the Irish finished with four unanswered to close within 35-30 at the break.
Notre Dame looked inside in the second half and dominated, outscoring the Cardinals 14-4 in the paint during the third quarter. Louisville kept pace with six points from Briahanna Jackson and four from Myisha Hines-Allen and held a 49-45 lead heading into the final ten minutes of play.
A basket by Hines-Allen with 8:30 remaining put the Cardinals ahead 55-49, but a 6-0 Notre Dame run, all on layups, in just over a minute, tied the game for the first time since midway through the first quarter. With 3:07 left to play, Notre Dame's Cable Madison sank a pair of free throws to give her team its first lead of the game. A three-pointer by Madison, who notched her third double-double of the season, sealed the rally victory for the Irish.
Hines-Allen led all scorers with 16 points, with Moore adding 12 and Jackson 11, who also handed out four assists. Cortnee Walton pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
The loss snaps Louisville's 15-game winning streak and undefeated mark in conference play. The Cardinals fall to 18-6 overall and 10-1 in the ACC, while Notre Dame gains sole possession of first place in the league at 11-0 and are 23-1 overall.
The Cardinals will have Monday off from practice, resuming on Tuesday in preparation for at Thursday evening contest at Pittburgh.
- Walz was very pleased with his team's defensive effort, holding the nation's top three-point shooting team to just 2 of 9 beyond the arc. The Irish were also held 14 points below their scoring average.
- A large and energetic crowd of 13,837 attended Sunday afternoon's contest.
- Jeff Walz and his staff took advantage of the highly visible contest, by hosting a number of recruits on visits. Among the very impressive group were 6-foot, 2017 wing Evina Westbrook - the No. 3 player in the country - and one of the Bluegrass State's best, Mykasa Robinson of Ashland Blazer, who checks in as the No. 7 player in 2018 class nationally. For a full list of the visitors, click here.