Dec. 2, 2012
Box Score |
Photo Gallery 1 |
Photo Gallery 2
Jeff Walz Postgame
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Janee Thompson scored all 13 of her points in the second half, including a 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds left, to lift No. 9 Kentucky to a 48-47 comeback victory over No. 6 Louisville Sunday night.
The freshman guard finished with 13 points and scored the final six for the Wildcats (6-1), who trailed by 14 points in the second half before rallying down the stretch behind tough defense that held Louisville without a field goal for the final 4:54.
After Thompson's 3-pointer, Louisville (8-1) had one final chance, but Bria Smith's
lay-up was blocked by Azia Bishop just before the buzzer.
That summed up the final 4:54 for the Cardinals, who shot just 38 percent from the field and committed 25 turnovers.
Louisville's last basket, a 3-pointer by Sara Hammond, came after extensive video review by officials. The Cardinals inbounded the ball with two seconds left on the shot clock and the horn went off before anyone touched the ball.
Officials needed several moments to review video before Hammond's 3-pointer was confirmed.
Hammond's shot, with 4:54 remaining, turned out to be the Cardinals' final bucket and they missed three of six free throws down the stretch.
"We gave them the ball game," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said of his team missing free throws.
The close victory helped Kentucky win its fifth in a row and earn its first win against a ranked opponent this season. The Wildcats lost 85-51 at No. 1 Baylor in its second game.
It was also the closest margin in six games between the intrastate rivals. The average margin of victory before Sunday was 22 points.
Both teams have conference and national championship aspirations, but both coaches were looking at this game as a measuring stick for their respective teams.
Walz said his players were hurting but the sting of the rivalry loss will be forgotten if they achieve their goal of reaching the Final Four.
"Sure, it's a big game, but it's nine games into the year," Walz said. "Does it hurt that we lost? Of course it does. But I don't care (who) we're playing right now."
For now the Cardinals will have to deal with losing bragging rights to the Wildcats, who had the final word in this game - before 15,453 on Louisville's home court yet.
"They played a full 40 minutes and it took every bit of it," Mitchell said of his team.