The No. 4 seed Louisville Cardinals defense was on full display in its 64-38 win over No. 1 seed Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum. After dropping the two regular season matchups with the Irish (25-5), the Cardinals (23-10) left no doubt as they held the Irish to their fewest points scored in a game this season and the fewest points allowed in a semifinal matchup in ACC Tournament history. The 38 points scored are the fewest for Notre Dame since they scored 38 on January 24, 2004. With the win, Louisville advances to the ACC Finals for the fourth time in its nine years in the ACC.
Mykasa Robinson scored in double figures with 10 points, led the team with five assists and had a team-high eight rebounds in the win. It is the fifth-straight game she has had eight or more assists and the 10th-straight game she has led the team in assists. Hailey Van Lith led all scorers with 15 points, her ninth-straight game she has scored 15 points or more. Olivia Cochran had 12 points and eight rebounds and Chrislyn Carr was the fourth Cardinal in double figures with 10 points.
It was a slow start from the field by both teams as they were getting a feel for the game early on. The Cardinals only hit three field goals in the opening quarter but they forced six turnovers and also held the Irish scoreless over the final 3:39 of the first. At the end of the first quarter, Louisville held a 12-7 lead.
The Cardinals ripped off the first six points in the second quarter thanks to Robinson and Van Lith and forced Notre Dame to burn a timeout just 1:09 into the quarter with the Cards up 18-7. The Cardinals continued the strong defensive play in the second quarter and frustrated the Irish on the offensive end. Notre Dame was held to 24.1 percent shooting in the first half and the Cardinals extended the lead after shooting 8-for-16 in the second quarter. At the break, the Cardinals held a 29-15 lead on the Irish. The 14-point deficit was the largest the Irish have faced this season.
Robinson was all over the court in the first half and led all scorers with eight points to go with five rebounds and two assists. Cochran tallied six points and six rebounds in the first half for the Cards.
The Cards continued to turn the Irish over in the second half and made it difficult on the offensive end. Cochran and Robinson got into double figures in the third quarter as Louisville controlled the pace of the game. The lead got up to 27 for the Cardinals as they held the Irish under 10 points for the third-straight quarter and led 50-24 with 10 minutes left in regulation.
Louisville got the lead to its largest of the afternoon at 34 in the fourth quarter as a number of players got valuable minutes to close out the game and advance the Cardinals to the finals.
The Cardinals are moving on to the ACC Tournament Finals for the fourth time in program history with the win over Notre Dame. It is the first time in the finals since 2021 and the Cardinals have a 1-2 overall record in the finals. Louisville will face either the No. 2 seed Duke Blue Devils or No. 3 seed Virginia Tech Hokies on Sunday afternoon. The final game of the tournament will start at 1 p.m. ET and will be aired nationally on ESPN.