Louisville, KY – – It was a tale of two halves Sunday evening as the Cardinals rallied from 18 down in the third period to defeat the IUPUI Jaguars, 70-61.
Out of the gate, the Cardinals started out strong leading by as much as six points in the first period. However, an 11-0 run at the end of the first period put the Jaguars up 20-13.
IUPUI held Louisville scoreless for nearly five minutes over two periods and extended their lead by a smoldering 11 points.
A three point by Mariya Moore ended the drought for the Cardinals and cut the lead to eight with 8:28 left in the second period.
But the Cardinals could not gain momentum and quickly fell behind again.
Louisville native Danielle Lawrence took control for the Jaguars in the second period connecting on 3-4 from the field, 1-1 from the free throw line and contributing seven points.
Louisville had a blistering 16 turnovers in the first half. The Jaguars capitalized putting up 16 points off of turnovers. Adding to the Cardinals woe, Louisville shot an unimpressive 18.2% from the field in the second, bringing the first half shooting percentage down to 28%.
IUPUI stunned the Cardinals in the first half, outscoring Louisville 36-22.
All hope seemed to be lost as the Cardinals trailed 14 at the half.
The team look defeated and frustrated heading into the locker room.
“BJ [Briahanna Jackson] at halftime told everyone to pick it up.” Sophomore Myisha Hines-Allen told the media. “She was really mad at halftime.”
Jackson’s tough love seemed to have fueled the Cardinals. Louisville seemed to be on track at the beginning of the third, going on a 4-0 run.
Junior Briahanna Jackson struck first with a jumper. Mariya Moore was able to force an IUPUI turnover and get the ball in Jackson’s hands, who laid it in for the Cardinals, cutting the Jags’ lead to ten.
It seemed as though every time Louisville gained momentum, the tides would turn in IUPUI’s favor.
The Jaguars went on a huge 8-0 run, including back to back threes from Martha Burse and Kelsi Byrd, to take the largest lead in the game and go up by 18 points with 6:45 left in the third. Louisville called a timeout.
Coach Jeff Walz told the media he didn’t tell the team anything special during the crucial timeout.
“There wasn’t much to say, I didn’t know what to say” Coach Walz told the media in the post-game press conference. “I told them It’s personal pride now people. You have to look at yourself in the mirror, you have to gut check and figure out I can either keep blaming everybody, or I can say I’m not going to let my man score.”
But it’s apparent Coach Walz words had an immediate effect. Coming out of the timeout, Briahanna Jackson hit a jumper that seemed to spark the Louisville offense. Back to back layups and two free throws by Myisha Hines-Allen cut the lead to 12 points with 4:12 remaining in the third period. A steal by Cortnee Walton on the next possession led to an Arica Carter jumper.
IUPUI got the ball back and in Louisville native Danielle Lawrence’s hands with a chance to end the Louisville run. But a missed shot by Lawrence led to a crucial three-pointer by Mariya Moore to bring the Cardinals within seven.
Just like that, the Cardinals were on fire, going on an 11-0 run that slashed the Jaguars’ lead to seven points.
As time wound down in the third period, Briahanna Jackson put up a three. The ball left the tips of Jackson’s fingers as the shot clock buzzed, and the ball found its way through the hoop. The Louisville crowd was the loudest it had been all night. The Cardinals cut the lead to six points, and they weren’t done yet.
The Cardinals trailed 45-52 entering the fourth period. But it was clear, the momentum had shifted in Louisville’s favor.
The Cardinals continued their run scoring 13 points straight. Mariya Moore hit a crucial three to put the Cardinals up by two with 6:32 remaining in the game.
The Cardinals would not trail again.
Louisville’s defense was smothering in the fourth, holding the Jaguars scoreless for five minutes in the fourth period as they put up 18 points to take the lead.
“We just wanted to make it interesting for our fans.” Myisha Hines-Allen said jokingly when asked about the 18 point come back. “We just had to buy in on defense.”
The Jaguars were clearly fatigued and could not muster the strength to mount a come back.
Louisville defeated the Jaguars, 70-61.
It’s no surprise that Briahanna Jackson stole the show, putting up 23 points, 21 of which came in the second half.
Jackson credits her stellar performance to her teammates,“I believe in my team.” Briahanna Jackson told the media in the post-game press conference. “We believe in our coaches and what we were going and we turned it around and we got the win.”