PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Sixth-placed Louisville scrapped the boards, giving trainer Jeff Walz the level of fighting he hadn’t seen the night before.
Third-placed Texas did the same for coach Vic Schaefer. It just wasn’t enough to beat the Cardinals and avoid a 0-2 start in Battle 4 Atlantis.
Chrislyn Carr scored 19 points to help Louisville beat Texas 71-63 in Sunday night’s consolation round, sending the Longhorns off to their worst start in nearly a quarter century.
Morgan Jones and Hailey Van Lith each added 18 points for the Cardinals (4-1), who pulled away in the fourth quarter to recover from their first loss of the season.
“I thought we fought more today,” said Walz.
His team showed it, particularly with a 10-0 run during a critical stretch in the fourth quarter that eventually put the Cardinals in control of the game.
Aaliyah Moore had 19 points and eight rebounds to lead Texas (1-3), who lost for the third time this week and dropped to No. 5 Connecticut.
This was a predicted matchup when the brackets for the second tournament at Atlantis Resort were released, although it took place in an unexpected place: the consolation round after everyone lost their game in the first round.
First it was Texas that fell to Marquette 68-61. It was a performance that Schaefer said his team was “overwhelmed,” showed a “unwillingness” to play together and he was having trouble getting his players to play the games he was envisioned.
A night later, both coaches sounded like they knew what they wanted in response. The only problem for the Longhorns was that they still fell to 2-0 in the Bahamas, although Schaefer said he had “a different feeling for my team tonight than when I went off the floor last night.”
“We’re still a work in progress, we’re just trying to learn how to play a little bit differently,” he said. “But I thought we were super competitive tonight. I was really proud of her.”
Louisville: The rebound, or lack thereof, was particularly annoying for Walz in the Gonzaga loss. After a 50-31 loss on the glass, the Cardinals battled to a tie with a big Longhorns team (32-all, 11-all offensively).
Texas: The Longhorns are still without star guard Rori Harmon due to injury, who had to watch them from the bench with a gray protective boot on his right foot. The Longhorns have their first 1-3 start since the 1998-99 season without them, though Schaefer expressed optimism their return was imminent.
“Right now it’s all about how we react to it,” he said. “We’re in a bit of a bind. It’s good. But that’s how you play the game and honor the game and respect the game – now you’re really going to find out about yourself and your team.”
Louisville led just 54-52 as they struggled for three offensive rebounds, two of which came from Merissah Russell to set up Carr’s 3-pointers to beat the shot clock in the 10-0 run.
Moore and Jones both brought energy in response to their teams’ early losses.
Moore had 13 points and five rebounds in the first half and four first-half attacks.
“I feel it in my back right now,” Moore said, “but it was so worth it.”
Jones also had 13 points at halftime with an aggressive lead in attacking the rim and boards.
“In yesterday’s game, that was the energy I didn’t bring,” Jones said. “I knew it. … I knew I had to step up and break out of my shell and just do what the team needed.”
Louisville: The Cardinals take on South Dakota in the fifth place game on Monday.
Texas: The Longhorns meet Rutgers in the seventh place game on Monday.
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap
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