WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Louisville spent most of Sunday wanting little just like the nation’s top-ranked staff, from struggling to make photographs to protecting a decided opponent off the boards.
After all, it helps to have Dana Evans to offset all that – and permit the Cardinals to barely keep away from an enormous upset of their first week at No. 1.
The reigning Atlantic Coast Convention participant of the yr hit a driving shot for the go-ahead three-point play with 8.Zero seconds left to assist Louisville hold on to beat Wake Forest 65-63 on Sunday. It was a part of an enormous day for the preseason Related Press All-American in a sport during which little got here simply for the Cardinals and so they needed to survive a final-play shot from the Demon Deacons to carry on.
”We would have liked her down the stretch there,” coach Jeff Walz mentioned of Evans.
And did they ever.
Evans completed with 25 factors, the final coming when she banked in a tricky drive over Gina Conti and hit the following free throw. That got here after she sparked the 14-2 run that helped Louisville (14-0, 7-Zero ACC) erase a nine-point deficit with about seven minutes left, scoring twice and helping on one other basket earlier than ending the run with a 3-pointer for a 60-57 lead with 3:27 left.
”I am the chief of this staff,” Evans mentioned of her successful drive, ”so that they have been relying on me to make one thing occur – make one thing out of nothing, so that is what I did.”
And but, Wake Forest (7-6, 4-5) had a remaining likelihood for its first-ever win in opposition to a top-ranked opponent. Ivana Raca popped open on the wing for a 3-pointer, however the shot bounced off the iron on the horn.
Conti scored 13 factors whereas Raca had 12 to guide the Demon Deacons, who erased an early nine-point deficit by going relentlessly to the boards. They took their largest lead at 55-46 on Alexandria Scruggs’ stickback earlier than the Cardinals regrouped.
”This group’s received to mentally be capable to deal with what occurred immediately,” Wake Forest coach Jen Hoover mentioned. ”And it is gonna damage. … We’re not into ethical victories. I do not care if we’re little ol’ Wake Forest. That does not imply something to us. We wished that win.”
Louisville: The Cardinals reached No. 1 within the AP High 25 to begin the week for the primary time. However Walz mentioned he did not anticipate something would change, noting that whereas the roster has expertise, it is not a staff that can ”simply overwhelm you.” His staff proved him proper Sunday by having to grind out a tricky win in opposition to a staff coming off a 29-point dwelling loss to Georgia Tech.
”It was not an excellent effort on our half, simply mentally all through the entire sport,” Walz mentioned. ”It is fairly wonderful that we even received the basketball sport. We actually in all probability didn’t need to.”
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons had misplaced all 10 video games in opposition to No. 1-ranked opponents and so they have been additionally in search of their first-ever win in opposition to a top-5 opponent after dropping their first 61 tries. The Demon Deacons got here unexpectedly near altering all of that with a fearless effort that fell quick.
Wake Forest entered capturing 76.1% from the foul line however made simply 12 of 24 free throws.
”You have a look at that and that makes me sick to see you had No. 1 within the nation beat and missed 12 free throws, shot 50%,” Hoover mentioned. ”You simply cannot do this.”
Wake Forest completed with a 43-32 rebounding benefit, together with 24-13 on the offensive glass. … Louisville freshman Hailey Van Lith completed with simply 5 factors, although that included a contested layup with 46.6 seconds left for a 62-61 lead. … Raca scored inside with 16.7 seconds left to place Wake Forest again up one and arrange Evans’ successful rating. … Louisville shot 34.9% by three quarters earlier than capturing 53% within the remaining interval. … Wake Forest shot 39.7% however made 1 of 11 3-pointers.
Louisville: The Cardinals return dwelling to host Miami on Tuesday within the first of three straight dwelling video games.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons host Florida State on Thursday.
Extra AP girls’s school basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP-High25
Comply with Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap