No. 6 Louisville beats No. 3 Texas at Battle 4 Atlantis
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Sixth-ranked Louisville scrapped on the boards and gave coach Jeff Walz the level of fight he didn’t see a night before.
Third-ranked Texas did the same for coach Vic Schaefer. It just wasn’t enough to beat the Cardinals and avoid an 0-2 start in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Chrislyn Carr scored 19 points to help Louisville beat Texas 71-63 in Sunday night’s consolation bracket, sending the Longhorns to their worst start in nearly a quarter-century.
Morgan Jones and Hailey Van Lith each added 18 points for the Cardinals (4-1), who pulled away in the fourth quarter to bounce back from their first loss of the season.
“I thought we fought more today,” Walz said.
His team showed it, notably with a 10-0 run during a critical fourth-quarter stretch that finally gave the Cardinals control of the game.
Aaliyah Moore had 19 points and eight rebounds to lead Texas (1-3), which lost for the third time this week going back to a trip to No. 5 Connecticut.
This was a projected matchup when the brackets were released for the second tournament at the Atlantis resort, though it came in an unexpected place: the consolation round after each lost its first-round game.
First it was Texas, which fell to Marquette 68-61. It was a performance that had Schaefer saying his team had been “out-toughed,” had shown an “unwillingness” to play together and that he was having trouble getting his players to run the plays he called.
One night later, both coaches sounded like they saw what they wanted in response. The only problem for the Longhorns was they still fell to 0-2 in the Bahamas, even as Schaefer said he had “a different feeling about my team tonight than I did when I walked off the floor last night.”
“We’re a work in progress, we’re still trying to learn how to play a little different right now,” he said. “But I thought we were super competitive tonight. I was really proud of them.”
Louisville: The rebounding, or lack thereof, was a particular irritation for Walz in the Gonzaga loss. After being beaten 50-31 on the glass, the Cardinals battled to a draw (32-all, 11-all offensive) with a big Longhorns team.
Texas: The Longhorns are still playing without star guard Rori Harmon due to injury, which had her watching from the bench with a gray protective boot on her right foot. The Longhorns are off to their first 1-3 start since the 1998-99 season without her, though Schaefer expressed optimism that her return was close.
“Right now for us it’s all about how we respond,” he said. “We’re in a little bit of a pickle. It’s fine. But it’s how you play the game and honor the game and respect the game — right now is where you’re really going to find out about yourself and your team.”
Louisville led just 54-52 when they battled on a possession to get three offensive rebounds, two coming from Merissah Russell, to set up Carr’s 3-pointer to beat the shot clock in the 10-0 run.
Moore and Jones both brought energy in response to their teams losses from the start.
Moore had 13 points and five rebounds in the opening half along with drawing four first-half charges.
“I feel it in my back right now,” Moore said, “but it was so worth it.”
Jones also had 13 points by halftime with an aggressive edge in attacking the rim and the boards.
“In yesterday’s game, that’s the energy I didn’t bring,” Jones said. “I knew it. … I knew I had to step up and I had to break out of my shell and just do what the team needed.”
Louisville: The Cardinals will face South Dakota State in Monday’s fifth-place game.
Texas: The Longhorns will face Rutgers in Monday’s seventh-place game.
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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