Louisville Women’s basketball came into North Carolina 6-0 in ACC play, after shooting over 57% in their last outing at Boston College. Louisville started Dana Evans (19ppg), Jazmine Jones (14 ppg, 5 rpg), and Elizabeth Balogun (8.8 ppg) in the backcourt. Front court starters were Kylee Shook (9.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg) and Bionca Dunham (5.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg) who made her return to the starting lineup.
The Cards came out and forced a lot of turnovers early and jumped out to a 16-5 lead midway through the first quarter. They ended the first quarter on a 9-5 run and led 27-14 after forcing the Tar Heels into 8 first quarter turnovers.
The second quarter started off sloppy for both teams, as they both took turns turning the ball over and committing multiple fouls. Louisville started to get things going with the help of their defense and key reserves Yacine Diop, Mykeisha Robinson, and Liz Dixon. The Cards pushed the lead up to 20 in the quarter before Jones fouled a three-point shooter. UofL finished the quarter on a 14-8 run and led 45-28 at the half and held UNC without a field goal in the last 3 minutes.
A few first half stats:
- Cards scored 14 bench points
- Cards 24 points in the paint versus 12 for UNC
- Cards 16 points off of 12 UNC turnovers
- Cards shot 59% UNC 52%
- Cards were led by Jazmine Jones and Dana Evans with 12 and 10 points respectively.
Louisville came out of the locker room a bit lethargic and the Tar Heels rattled off 6 straight points. Kylee Shook picked up her 3rd personal foul early in the 3rd quarter and headed to the bench. A big block on a UNC 3-point attempt by Elizabeth Balogun injected some energy into the Cards, and they answered the Tar Heel 6-0 run with a 6-0 run of their own. Louisville managed to push the lead back up to 20, tying their biggest lead of the game at 62-42. At the end of the 3rd, UofL led 62-45. Dana Evans scored 8 points in the 3rd quarter.
Jazmine Jones got the scoring for Louisville started in the 4th by hitting 1 of 2 free throws after grabbing an offensive rebound. Both Bionca Dunham and Elizabeth Dixon picked up their 4th fouls early in the 4th quarter.
North Carolina cut the lead to 12 on a 6-1 run, spanning back to the 3rd quarter. They went on an 18-5 run to cut the lead to 7 at 67-60 with 4:31 left to go in the game. Elizabeth Balogun ended a 2 minute and 38 second scoring drought to push the lead to 9 (69-60).
The Tar Heels made the Cardinals sweat this one out, as they got as close as 4 points on a 3-point shot (71-67) with under a minute to go. The Cards struggled to finish the game on the level that they are used to. Since Louisville had taken a 20 point lead at 62-42, Carolina went on a 25-11 run to get that lead down to 4. However, the Cards held on to win 74-67.
Louisville finished with two players in double figures in scoring; Dana Evans (22) and Jazmine Jones (19). Elizabeth Balogun and Bionca Dunham led the Cards in rebounding with nine and seven respectively. The Cards shot 48.3% from the field, including 20% (3 of 15) from 3-point line. The Cards out-rebounded the Tar Heel by nine with a final total of 33 rebounds to North Carolina’s 24. The Cards also had six blocks and six steals. Unfortunately, the Cardinals turned it over 15 times.
The Louisville Women’s Basketball Team will be back home for a tilt with a 7-11 (2-5 in conference) University of Virginia basketball team at 8 PM on Thursday, January 23rd.