No. 10 Louisville women claim 77-75 OT win over No. 15 UNC
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) No. 10 Louisville's first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament game lasted longer than it probably should have.
Then the Cardinals regrouped in overtime and refused to let their stay end early.
Louisville held on to beat No. 15 North Carolina 77-75 on Friday night in an ACC quarterfinal after Sara Hammond matched a season high with 20 points.
''I just had an adrenaline rush the whole time,'' Hammond said.
Tar Heels freshman Jamie Cherry sent the game into overtime with a 40-foot heave at the regulation buzzer, but missed a long 3 at the final horn that would have won it.
''When they made a run, just keep our heads, let's continue to execute on offense and defense, don't get ahead of ourselves, and just keep everybody emotionally in it,'' Hammond said. ''Don't get down, don't put your head down because we're in the ballgame, and I think for the most part we did that.''
Myisha Hines-Allen had 17 points for the third-seeded Cardinals (25-5), who will face No. 7 Florida State (28-3), the tournament's second seed, in a semifinal on Saturday.
Jessica Washington scored 16 points and hit three 3-pointers.
Stephanie Mavunga added 12 points and 16 rebounds for the sixth-seeded Tar Heels (24-8).
Hammond matched the high she set Jan. 18 against Virginia for the Cardinals, who ended the regular season by losing two of three to No. 2 Notre Dame and the unranked Cavaliers.
N'Dea Bryant had 13 points for North Carolina and Brittany Rountree added 11 and put the Tar Heels up 73-72 with a layup with 47.3 seconds left. Shawnta Dyer put the Cardinals ahead to stay with a hook shot in the lane with 39.3 seconds to go.
Mariya Moore extended the lead to 76-73 with two free throws with 16 seconds left. Cherry drove the lane and missed twice from close range before her layup with 4.8 seconds left made it a one-point game.
North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell said the plan was for Cherry - who finished 2 of 12 from the field - to drive and kick out to Washington or Rountree for a 3-pointer.
''But Jamie's a freshman, and she took it in there,'' Hatchell said. ''But she'll learn from it.''
The Tar Heels fouled Hines-Allen before the clock restarted, and she put Louisville up by two with a free throw. Cherry then missed the final shot for the Tar Heels.
Louisville appeared to have sewn up the victory in regulation after Hammond scored the Cardinals' final seven points, including a free throw with 7.4 seconds left that put them up 66-63.
The Tar Heels inbounded to Cherry, whose heave from a couple of steps inside the midcourt stripe swished through to force OT.
One key factor in overtime, Hatchell said, was the Cardinals' ability to get to the line when they needed to. Louisville was 7 of 11 from the stripe in OT while the Tar Heels were just 1 of 2. ''I thought we had some good things, but they got on the foul line,'' Hatchell said, ''and we didn't.''
North Carolina: Allisha Gray became the 35th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark. She got it on a free throw with 6:09 left in the first half.
Louisville: The Cardinals erased the only double-figure deficit of the game with a late 15-2 run that turned a 10-point hole into a 59-56 lead. Hammond capped it with a layup that put Louisville up three with 4 1/2 minutes left. ''At that situation you've got two ways to go,'' coach Jeff Walz said, ''and that's get buried and beat by about 18 or 20 or fight back.''
North Carolina: Awaits an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Louisville: Plays No. 7 Florida State on Saturday in an ACC semifinal.
Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap