WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Myisha Hines-Allen felt embarrassed by the way No. 6 Louisville played in the first half of Sunday’s game against Wake Forest.
So the Cardinals turned their embarrassment into action, rallying from an 11-point halftime deficit to beat the Deacons 79-68 and remain undefeated in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Hines-Allen finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and three other players scored in double figures for Louisville (15-1, 3-0), which has now won seven straight.
”We were extremely embarrassed by the way we played,” said Hines-Allen, who scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds over the final 20 minutes. ”We knew they were going to come out strong, but we didn’t match their intensity.
”We have to play 40 minutes of basketball. We can’t come out lackadaisical, because every team in the ACC is a great team. We have to come out strong and ready to play, and not underestimate our opponents.”
Mariya Moore added 16 points, Bria Smith 13 and Shawnta Dyer 10 for the Cardinals, who struggled with 33 percent shooting in the first half as Wake Forest took a 42-31 lead at the break.
The Deacons (9-8, 0-3) helped their own cause by shooting 55.6 percent from the field in the half. But in the second half, Louisville’s defense forced Wake Forest into 13 turnovers, leading to 14 points, and the Cardinals made 15 of 23 from the free throw line.
Louisville also outrebounded Wake Forest 20-11 in the second half, including a 12-5 edge on the offensive boards. That led to a 14-6 advantage in second-chance points for the Cardinals.
”They took it right at us,” in the first half, Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. ”We were not getting stops. But we did a much better job in the second half.
”I had to say a few things – a little motivational speech – but it was unacceptable to come out and play the way we did in the first half.”
Dearica Hamby had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Amber Campbell added 15 points and Nicole Floyd 11 for the Deacons, who have lost three straight – all after leading by nine or more points in the second half.
”We could hear their coach at halftime – I’ll just leave it at that,” Wake Forest coach Jen Hoover said. ”The second half, they were determined to get offensive rebounds and force us into turnovers.”
Louisville: Counting preseason rankings, the Cardinals have been in the AP Top 25 for 68 consecutive weeks, dating to the opening week of the 2011-2012 season. In all, Louisville has appeared in the Top 25 110 times during Walz’s tenure, which began with the 2007-2008 season.
Wake Forest: The Deacons have now lost 16 consecutive games to Top 10 teams, dating back to the closing week of the 2011-2012 season. Wake Forest’s last win over a Top 10 team came on March 2, 2012, when the Deacons upset then-No. 7 Miami (Fla.) 81-74 in the second round of the ACC Tournament.
Down 45-33 early in the second half, the offensive boards and turnovers would allow Louisville to outscore Wake Forest 26-14 over the next 9 1/2 minutes. The Cardinals tied the game at 59-59 on Dyer’s layup with 8 minutes, 39 seconds left, then take the lead for good 42 seconds later on Hines-Allen’s layup.
Hines-Allen, a 6-foot-2 freshman, got her first career double-double with the Cardinals. Meanwhile, Hamby – a 6-4 senior – recorded her eighth double-double this season and the 33rd of her career for the Deacons.