Louisville Women’s Basketball Beats Michigan for Final Four Spot!
The No. 1 seeded Louisville women’s basketball team earned the last spot in the Final Four after holding off No. 3 Michigan. The Cardinals outscored the Wolverines 16-7 in the fourth quarter to pull away with a 62-50 victory. This is Louisville’s fourth semifinals appearance and their first since 2018. They’ll face South Carolina in the next round of the tournament on Friday.
Van Lith Leads Louisville in Scoring
Louisville’s performance was guided by sophomore guard Hailey Van Lith. She dropped 22 points during her 38 minutes of gameplay. Her performance earned her the game’s regional MVP honors. Overall, Van Lith has performed well throughout this year’s NCAA Tournament. The All-ACC player has collected 63 points total in three games.
Following Van Lith’s performance was Chelsie Hall who scored 15 points. Also, Emily Engstler countered her shooting deficit with 16 rebounds and strong defensive plays for the Cardinals. Louisville only had a two-point lead going into the final three minutes of the game. Then, they managed to be the only team to score for the remainder of the game and secured their win from the foul line. With two rounds left in the tournament, the Cardinals are aiming to win their first national championship in program history.
Michigan Falls to Louisville’s Offense
Michigan opened the game with a rough start by missing eight shots. Naz Hillmon stepped up for the team and collected 18 points and 11 rebounds. Heading into the last few minutes, Michigan was down 52-50 with hopes of success. However, Hillmon got a charging call, allowing another point for the Cardinals. Michigan was unable to put any more in the basket for the rest of the game.
Louisville coach Jeff Walz acknowledged Michigan’s offensive strength prior to the game. He emphasized the importance of defensive play in order to come out with a victory.
However, Michigan had a poor 3-point shooting game. Instead, they collected 15 points from the foul line in their fight to the semifinals. This was the Wolverines’ second-straight year reaching the Sweet 16 and they fell just short of their first appearance in the Final Four.
Louisville will play on Friday against the No. 1 Gamecocks. The game starts at 7 p.m. and live coverage will be on ESPN.