LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Jazmine Jones scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, Arica Carter added 14 points and No. 3 Louisville beat North Carolina 73-66 on Thursday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both schools.
Louisville (13-0) led by 19 points late in the first half, but the Tar Heels (9-6) made it interesting with a couple third-quarter runs. Stephanie Watts’ layup with 38 second left in the quarter cut it to 55-47.
North Carolina got within two points four times in the final quarter, but the Tar Heels were never able to take the lead. After Janelle Bailey’s 3-point play cut it to 66-64, Carter made 3 of 4 free throws and came up with a big steal with 30 seconds left. Jones made 1 of 2 free throws after getting an offensive rebound off Asia Durr’s missed free throw with 22 seconds remaining to secure the win.
Bailey and Watts led the Tar Heels with 16 points apiece.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels had a bad first half. In addition to getting dominated on the boards, they made just 1 of 15 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. While they showed resiliency in rallying, they could not complete the comeback as they shot a season-low 33.3 percent.
Louisville: Coach Jeff Walz said Wednesday that he wanted to see improvement on the boards, and the Cardinals delivered on that. They outrebounded the Tar Heels 45-30, and their 17 offensive boards were critical to securing the victory.