UofL Women Defeat Cal 64-57

04/07/2013 08:10 PM

Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz asked one simple question after beating California 64-57 in the Final Four: “Why not us?” So far in this tournament, Cal, Tennessee, and Baylor have not had an answer for the Cardinals.

The Louisville women became the first five seed to make it to the women’s championship game. The Cardinals now have both the men’s and women’s team in the in the championship game of their respective NCAA tournaments.

Antonita Slaughter led the Cardinals with 18 points, while Bria Smith added 17 points and 6 rebounds. Louisville held a 10-8 lead five minutes into the first half, but Cal stormed back taking a 10-point lead into the half.

In the second half, the Cardinals slowly chipped away at the Bears’ lead until Sara Hammond made two free throws to take that lead away with 3:40 left in the game. But Cal wasn’t done fighting. The Bears tied the game 57-57 on a three pointer from Layshia Claredon with 1:54 left. Hammond followed that up with a clutch layup and free throw. With that three-point lead for the Cards, the Louisville defense locked down and forced Cal into fouling to try to stay in the game, but Bria Smith and Jude Schimmel iced the game, making two free throws a piece.

Before leaving for New Orleans after big upsets of tournament-favorite Baylor and Tennessee, Walz said, “We ruined the entire party. We’re the ugly ducklings that ruined the party. No one gave us a chance and we shocked everybody. It’s a journey and we’re going to continue.” That journey continues Tuesday night as Louisville takes on the winner of UConn-Notre Dame match-up. While the Cards are ruining the party for others, the party may be just beginning in the Bluegrass State, especially if both the men and women bring home a championship.

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