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The Daily Tar Heel

Recap: UNC women's basketball falls at home to No. 5 Louisville, 74-67

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Junior center Janelle Bailey (30) prepares to shoot the ball against Miami in Carmichael Arena on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. The Tar Heels won 78-58 against the Miami Hurricanes.

The North Carolina women's basketball team fell to No. 5 Louisville by a score of 74-67 on Sunday at Carmichael Arena after a sloppy first half in which the Tar Heels gave up 12 turnovers. 

What happened?

The Tar Heels opened the game with a shaky start. By the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals had scored 14 points off of UNC turnovers and had amassed a 13-point lead. The Cardinal lead would stay in double digits until late in the fourth quarter. 

UNC had a stronger showing in the second quarter, only being outscored 18-15 by the Cardinals. The Tar Heels also cleaned up their play, only giving up two points off turnovers to Louisville. Heading into halftime, UNC was trailing by a score of 45-29.

The Tar Heels started the third quarter on a promising note. An early 3-pointer by redshirt senior Madinah Muhammad injected energy into the Tar Heel players and fans. The Cardinals held their ground, however, and UNC would head into the fourth quarter with a 17-point deficit. 

In the fourth quarter, the Tar Heels came alive, starting the quarter with an 8-4 run to cut the Cardinals' lead to 12. UNC then made it a nine-point game when junior Leah Church drained a 3-pointer. Muhammad then scored a layup off a steal to cut Louisville's lead to just seven points with 4:31 remaining in the game. 

Senior Taylor Koenen then stepped up with a 3-pointer with 1:22 to go to make it 71-67, the closest the game had been since early in the first quarter. 

But Louisville was able to shut out the Tar Heels in the final seconds of the game, getting the stops needed while adding three free throws to close out UNC, 74-67. 

Who stood out?

Senior Taylor Koenen and Muhammad led the Tar Heels in scoring with 17 points apiece, while Koenen also tallied eight rebounds. Junior Janelle Bailey contributed 16 points and eight rebounds. 

On the other side, Dana Evans put up 22 points for the Cardinals to lead both teams. 

When was it decided?

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Tar Heels were trailing by 17 points, but after a 22-9 run, UNC had cut the Cardinals' lead to four points with 1:22 remaining. Still, Louisville were able to finish off UNC with stops and free free throws to cut the Tar Heels' comeback short. 

Why does it matter?

With the victory, Louisville now leads the all-time series between the teams 7-3, with the Cardinals winning seven in a row. UNC's last win over the Cardinals came in 2008 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Sunday's matchup was UNC's second game against a top-10 opponent in 10 days, coming after the Tar Heel's victory over No. 9 N.C. State on January 9. It was the Tar Heels' first game of the season that was televised on ESPN2, with most of their previous games being broadcast on the ACC Network. 

UNC is now 13-5 overall on the season and 4-3 in ACC action. 

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will head to Atlanta to take on ACC opponent Georgia Tech Thursday at 6 p.m. 

@emilythoreson

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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