UNC women knock off No. 3. Louisville

The 24th-ranked Tar Heels snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Cardinals

UNC guards Deja Kelly and Carlie Littlefield defend against Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith during the Tar Heels' win Thrsday in Chapel Hill. (Gerry Broome / AP Photo)

CHAPEL HILL — Kennedy Todd-Williams knocked down the go-ahead free throws with 16.2 seconds left and No. 24 North Carolina survived Louisville’s two final-play missed shots to upset the third-ranked Cardinals 66-65 on Thursday night.

Todd-Williams finished with 19 points to lead the Tar Heels (20-5, 10-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), who ended an eight-game skid against the Cardinals in dramatic fashion.

After Todd-Williams’ free throws, Louisville called timeout to set up a final play. As the clock dwindled down, Kianna Smith hit the front rim on a 3-point attempt. Chelsie Hall managed to grab the rebound and toss the ball up as she fell to the court. The ball sat on the rim before slowly rolling off as the horn sounded.

The Tar Heels sprinted to midcourt to celebrate and mob each other with hugs, while guard Deja Kelly triumphantly motioned to the crowd for more noise.

Kelly had 18 points for UNC, which shot just 38% and made only 5 of 19 3-pointers. But the Tar Heels hung around, erasing a 10-point first-half deficit and using a 42-32 rebounding advantage — including 13-5 on the offensive glass — to stay within arm’s reach of the Cardinals.

Hailey Van Lith scored 17 points to lead Louisville (22-3, 13-2), which had won all eight meetings with UNC since joining the ACC for the 2014-15 season. Olivia Cochran added 12 of her 14 points after halftime.