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Notre Dame exploits UL’s 18 TOs, returns to ACC Championship

In the ACC Tournament’s first semi-final game, Notre Dame faced off with Louisville. The Fighting Irish found key players Lindsey Allen and Brianna Turner in foul trouble, but Notre Dame remained poised. The Fighting Irish hit clutch free-throws down the stretch to win the game.

NCAA Womens Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Notre Dame vs Louisville Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Conway, SC — The first ACC semi-final game featured a match-up between the 5-seeded Louisville Cardinals and the top-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Cardinals were looking to break the streak that the Irish have with three consecutive finals appearances.

It was a high-intensity game where teams looked fairly even across the board in the first half, as evidenced by the 33-33 score at the break. Louisville’s Myisha Hines-Allen led her team with 12 points, while Notre Dame’s Marina Mabrey led hers with 13 points.

The second half was just as competitive up until the final minutes. Then Notre Dame ran away with the win with a final of 84-73.

Both teams had impressive showings from multiple players. Mabrey and Asia Durr, of the Cardinals, both finished with 26 points. Briana Turner and Jackie Young put up 16 points each for the Irish, while the Cardinals receive the same contribution from Kylee Shook. Hines-Allen also finished with a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Ultimately, it was turnovers that made the biggest difference. The Cardinals finished with 18 compared to Notre Dame’s five.

Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz was blunt in his critique of his team, saying, “If you pass the other team the ball, it’s hard to win.”

If you ask Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw, the Hurricanes’s two prior tournament games compared to the Irish’s one played a big role. She said, “They had to be tired after two big games back to back… I think [fatigue] had to be a little bit of the difference.”

Notre Dame will appear in its fourth consecutive ACC Championship game tomorrow at 1 p.m. E.T. They will play the winner of the Miami/Duke semi-final.