LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Olivia Cochran scored 14 of her 17 points in the first half to lead top-ranked Louisville, which withstood a late rally to beat North Carolina 79-68 on Thursday night.
The Cardinals (16-0, 9-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) started strong. They made eight of their first 10 shots to take a 21-9 lead in less than six minutes and built a 67-35 lead late in the third quarter.
But Tar Heels (8-6, 3-6) made things interesting with a 17-0 second-half run. They got it down to an eight-point deficit with 1:18 left, but they could not get any closer.
Cochran ended the first half with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the wing to make it 55-30. It was the first trey of the season for the 6-foot-3 freshman.
Louisville, which is 16-0 for the second time in school history, shot 56.8 percent in the first half. But the Cardinals made just 3-of-13 shots in the fourth quarter as North Carolina climbed back in the game.
UNC lost for the fourth time in their last five games. They’ve also yet to win on the road in four tries this season.
Petra Holesinska scored a season-best 26 points to lead the Tar Heels.
Before the game, 10 of the 11 Tar Heels players dressed for the game knelt during the playing of the national anthem.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels dug themselves way too deep a hole Thursday night but certainly put a scare into the Cardinals in the final 10 minutes
Louisville: For nearly three quarters, Louisville looked unbeatable. They shot well and outrebounded the Tar Heels, but they let a 32-point lead get down to single digits in a matter of minutes.
North Carolina visits Virginia Tech on Sunday afternoon.
Louisville hosts current No. 2 N.C. State on Monday night.
Originally published January 28, 2021, 6:59 PM