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    Photo courtesy University of Louisville Women’s Basketball Facebook Page
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    The University of Louisville women’s basketball team went toe-to-toe, or in this case high top-to-high top, with Notre Dame for more than a half Monday night.

    The Cardinals, however, couldn’t overcome a key stretch early in the second half as the Fighting Irish prevailed 68-52 in a battle of Top 10 teams and Atlantic Coast Conference leaders in South Bend, Ind.

    Notre Dame (26-2, 13-1), which is No. 4 in the Associated Press Top 25, scored 16 straight points over a 5-minute stretch to take command of the game. Junior guard Jewell Lloyd scored a game-high 20 points while 6-foot-3 sophomore forward Taya Reimer added 16 points (on 8-for-8 shooting) and 6-3 freshman forward Brianna Turner tallied 11 and a team-high nine rebounds for the Fighting Irish.

    UofL (23-4, 11-3), which is No. 8 in the AP poll and third in the ACC, took a 37-35 lead on freshman forward Mariya Moore’s layup with 16:27 to play. The Cards, however, missed their next nine shots and Notre Dame took advantage. Louisville’s frustrations boiled over when the bench was whistled for a technical foul with 11:40 left. Lloyd hit the two subsequent free throws, then Turner scored inside to boost the Fighting Irish’s lead to 51-37.

    A 3-pointer by senior forward Sara Hammond ended Notre Dame’s run, and started a 9-0 surge for UofL. Shawnta’ Dyer’s two free throws with 7:48 to play trimmed the Fighting Irish’s lead to 51-46. That, however, was as close as the Cards would get. Turner answered with an old-fashioned three-point play as the green and gold ended the game on a 17-6 surge.

    Moore, Hammond and Dyer tallied 11 points apiece to lead Louisville. Hammond also snared a team-high nine rebounds for the Cards, who outrebounded Notre Dame 37-33.

    Louisville, though, couldn’t overcome 33.3 percent (21 for 63) shooting - including 29 percent (9 for 31) in the second half (when the Fighting Irish shot 55 percent).

    UofL closes out its home schedule at 7 p.m. Thursday night, when it hosts Boston College. The Cards finish out their regular season at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon at Virginia.

    Photo courtesy University of Louisville Women’s Basketball Facebook Page

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