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    The University of Louisville women’s basketball team just can’t finish off its archrival.

    For the third straight year the Cardinals lost a double-digit lead, and the game, to the University of Kentucky.

    The Wildcats outscored UofL by 22 points in the second half on their way to a 77-68 triumph Sunday afternoon in a Top 15 matchup in front of 14,862 fans at the KFC Yum! Center.

    Junior guard Janee Thompson scored a game-high 19 points while senior guard Jennifer O’Neill added 17 to lead five in double figures as the 13th-ranked Wildcats (8-1), who now lead the all-time series 33-17, won their fourth consecutive Battle of the Bluegrass.

    Freshman forward Myisha Hines-Allen scored 17 points to lead No. 7 Louisville (8-1), which led by 16 points late in the first half and 15 early in the second but couldn’t hold on thanks, in large part, to 28 turnovers.

    UofL dominated the first half, shooting 52 percent and outrebounding UK 26-17.

    The Wildcats, though, chipped away at Louisville’s lead. A 12-0 run midway through the second half got Kentucky back into the game.

    Bria Goss’ layup tied it at 58 before Thompson hit one free throw with 6:16 to play to give UK its first lead of the game.

    UofL retook the lead a short time later and went ahead 66-63 on a pair of Bria Smith free throws with 3:26 to play. The Wildcats, however responded with a game-deciding 12-0 run, during which UofL had five turnovers and missed two layups.

    Thompson hit a 3-pointer, then O’Neill made two free throws, before Linnae Harper and O’Neill made back-to-back layups. Thompson then knocked down two free throws before Harper hit 1 of 2 to give UK a 75-66 lead with 29 seconds left.

    Kentucky, which also got 12 points from Harper, 11 from Goss and 10 from Makayla Epps, shot 45 percent (27 for 60) in the win.

    Meanwhile Louisville, which received 15 from Smith, 14 from freshman Mariya Moore and 11 from senior Sara Hammond, shot 37.9 percent (22 for 58) from the field and was 0 for 5 from 3-point range.

    The Cards next host Old Dominion at 7 p.m. Dec. 15.

    Photo courtesy University of Louisville Women’s Basketball Facebook Page

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