The University of Louisville women’s basketball team was determined to prove their worth when they faced off against the No. 11-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels on Sunday. It was a game of grit and determination, as the Cardinals used an outstanding defensive effort to come away with a 62-55 victory in front of an energetic crowd of 10,069.
The game was a tight battle throughout, but the Cardinals managed to gain the upper hand with a 13-1 run fueled by 3-pointers from Chrislyn Carr and layups from Morgan Jones. The Cards never looked back after taking a 41-37 lead and held the Tar Heels to 33.3 percent shooting from the field. North Carolina’s leading scorer Deja Kelly was held to just 3 of 16 shooting and 13 points.
The key moment in the game may have come when Louisville coach Jeff Walz received a technical foul after he thought a UNC player kicked her foot out on a 3-point shot to draw a foul call. Although the Tar Heels hit four free throws and took a 9-point lead, the technical seemed to light a fire under the Cardinals.
“For me it was when Coach Walz got that T, and I was like, ‘OK. If coach is going to put this much into it, coach Walz got that tech, and I was like, ‘OK, if this is how we’re doing it, if coach is going to put this much into it, then it’s the least we can do as players,” Mykasa Robinson said.
The Cards held an 18-8 edge in second-chance points and outscored UNC 24-3 from beyond the arc. They also outrebounded the taller Tar Heels, with 12 rebounds from Nyla Harris and 8 each from Robinson and Jones. Louisville went 16 of 24 from the free-throw line, but made 9 of 12 in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
The Cardinals’ victory over the Tar Heels was a statement of their resilience and determination, and keeps them in contention for an ACC Tournament bye. They showed that with hard work and a never-say-die attitude, anything is possible.