LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - No matter how many shots third-ranked Notre Dame missed for three quarters against No. 13 Louisville, the final one allowed one last chance for redemption.
The Fighting Irish certainly made the most of those final 10 minutes thanks to Madison Cable, who didn’t let tonsillitis slow her down.
Cable scored five straight points in the fourth quarter, including a big 3-pointer with two minutes remaining, to rally Notre Dame past Louisville 66-61 on Sunday for its 16th straight victory.
Down 55-49, the Fighting Irish rallied to tie it twice before Cable’s two free throws with 3:07 left put them ahead for good at 59-58. Her subsequent long-range jumper provided a four-point cushion and Notre Dame sealed the hard-fought win with four more free throws.
Notre Dame (23-1, 11-0 ACC) recovered from 18-of-46 shooting (39 percent) in the first three quarters to make six of its nine shots in the fourth quarter. The finish was all that mattered to the Irish.
“We knew it was going to be a good battle,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “They came at us with everything they had. They played extremely well at the beginning of the game and we were just able to figure out a way to at the end.”
Cable - who didn’t speak afterward for obvious reasons - and Brianna Turner each had 13 points for the Fighting Irish. Cable also grabbed 12 rebounds for her third double-double on a day her team was beaten 44-35 on the glass. That stat didn’t matter as Notre Dame came up with the rebounds when needed.
Arike Ogunbowale scored 15 points and Lindsay Allen 12 as Notre Dame won this tense showdown of unbeaten Atlantic Coast Conference teams, both riding 15-game winning streaks coming in. The Irish extended their run by holding Louisville (18-6, 10-1) to 5-of-22 shooting in the fourth quarter and just 1 of their final 13 attempts.
“I thought we did a great job and unfortunately, we lose it right there at the end in a one-point game,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said.
Myisha Hines-Allen had 16 points and seven rebounds but fouled out with 3:07 left for the Cardinals, which opened the door for the Fighting Irish and Cable.
Momentum actually shifted earlier for Notre Dame as the 6-foot-3 Turner executed the high-low to make three straight baskets and tie the game at 55 with 6:52 left. She missed a chance for a 3-point play but the Irish were rolling.
Allen’s jumper tied it at 57 and Cable answered a free throw by Louisville’s Asia Durr with two of her own to claim the lead.
“Brea is always someone we can go to at any time,” Allen said. “Our plan was to go to her inside because she always has an advantage inside. … She came through in the second half for us.”
But Cable’s 3-pointer was especially big on a day when Notre Dame was just 2 of 9 from long range after entering as the nation’s leader from behind the arc at nearly 42 percent.
Mariya Moore added 12 points and Briahanna Jackson 11 for the Cardinals, who began 10 of 20 from the field and led 35-30 at the break but finished 36 percent.
That wasn’t going to get it done against Notre Dame, which didn’t wilt and denied Louisville a chance to win this matchup of between two of the ACC’s top three scoring offenses and defenses in league play.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” Jackson said. “We had them the entire game. I feel like it’s just a level of maturity that we still have to reach with all the young players that we have.”
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish improved to 6-1 against ranked foes and has won 26 straight games decided by single digits or in overtime.
Louisville: Cortnee Walton had 13 rebounds for the Cardinals, who lost their ninth straight to Notre Dame.
Notre Dame: Hosts Miami on Sunday.
Louisville: Visits Pittsburgh on Thursday.
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