The No. 4 Cardinals traveled to South Bend to finish the regular season against No. 14 Notre Dame. They gave the Irish a beatdown in the form of a 86-64 victory, pouring salt in the wound from their last meeting.
Louisville looked like a national championship team today, putting up 54 points in the first half. When I tell you they played beautiful basketball, I mean it. Hailey Van Lith had 16 first half points and was a perfect 4-4 from beyond the arch. Kianna Smith wasn’t too far behind her with 14 first half points and Emily Engstler was on double-double watch at halftime with 9 points and 9 rebounds. The Cards were also 9-10 on layups which is something they notably struggled with early in the year. Not only was the offense clicking but the defense held No. 14 Notre Dame to 15 points through the first two quarters. The Irish were 1-7 from the three point line while the Cards were stacking up the blocks and steals with 4 and 5, respectively.
Notre Dame was able to find a little life in the second half, but it wouldn’t be enough to stop the Cardinals who were shooting 48.4% through the last 20 minutes of game play. Louisville was still playing with a national championship mentality and had 9 players with points in the second half, including Norika Konno who recently rejoined the team. Four players were in double-digit scoring by the final buzzer. Hailey Van Lith and Kianna Smith led the team with 20 points each followed by Emily Engstler who had 17 points and Chelsie Hall with 13 points. Engstler had another impressive day totaling 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals to go along with her 17 points.
The Cards finished the regular season with a 25-3 overall record and went 16-2 in the ACC. They were also undefeated at home this season. Louisville will play their first ACC tournament game this Friday at 6p.m. in Greensboro.
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