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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – No. 1 Louisville suffered its first loss of the season, losing to No. 4 NC State 74-60 on Monday night inside the KFC Yum! Center.
The Cardinals drop to 16-1 overall and 9-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, while the Wolfpack improves to 12-1 overall and 7-1 in conference play.
“We struggled offensively. There’s no question about that,” said head coach Jeff Walz. “(We) had some really good looks but just couldn’t knock some of them down.”
With the Cardinals leading 18-15 in the waning seconds of the first quarter, NC State’s Raina Perez hit a three to tie the game at 18. That shot sparked an 8-0 Wolfpack run that extended into the start of the second quarter.
Louisville held NC State to 4-of-17 shooting from the field in the second period and limited them to just one field goal in the final seven minutes, but the Cardinals turned it over six times and scored just seven points on 3-of-13 shooting in the quarter and trailed 29-25 at halftime.
After falling behind 45-36 in the third quarter, Louisville went on an 8-2 run to pull back within three. A pull-up jumper by NC State’s Jada Boyd extended the Wolfpack lead back to five, and a Hailey Van Lith three came up just short at the buzzer as the Cardinals trailed 49-44 after three quarters.
A 16-3 Wolfpack run to start the fourth quarter made it 65-47 with just over four minutes to go. Louisville responded with a 7-0 run of their own to pull within 65-54 and then Kianna Smith hit a 3-pointer to pull the Cardinals within nine at 69-60 with 1:23 remaining, but they would not get any closer.
Dana Evans tied her career-high with 29 points, 19 of which came in the second half. She finished 10-22 from the floor and 5-8 from 3-point range.
Olivia Cochran led the team in rebounds with nine. She also scored eight points on 4-of-7 shooting. Elizabeth Dixon tied her career-high with four blocks, while Mykasa Robinson set a new career-high with four steals.
As a team, Louisville shot just 38.3 percent, their lowest field goal percentage of the season.
The Wolfpack outscored Louisville 36-18 in the paint and outrebounded the Cardinals 44-29.
Next up, Louisville heads on the road to take on Boston College on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.