Louisville vs. California final score: Cardinals rally past Bears in second half, 64-57

Stacy Revere

Louisville trailed for most of the game, but a furious comeback attempt led by Antonita Slaughter has the Cardinals headed to the national championship.

The Louisville Cardinals and California Golden Bears played one of the best games of the 2013 Women's NCAA Tournament on Sunday afternoon. After numerous lead changes in the final three minutes, it was Louisville that came away with the thrilling 64-57 win at New Orleans Arena.

Louisville trailed for most of the game, although a rally late in the second half gave them their first lead since the opening minutes. The Bears were just unable to hit open shot opportunities, including a handful of three-pointers in the final few minutes.

With the Cards up 60-57 and 30 seconds on the clock, Bria Smith stepped to the line and hit two crucial free throws to essentially seal the win.

Antonita Slaughter led Louisville with 18 points on six three-pointers. As the Cardinals made their comeback in the second half, it was Slaughter leading the charge. Smith scored 17 points and brought down six rebounds, while Shoni Schimmel did it all with 10 points, six assists and four rebounds.

Layshia Clarendon had a team-high 17 points for Cal. Gennifer Brandon nearly recorded a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. As a team, however, they shot just 4-for-15 from behind the three-point arc and made just one free throw.

With the win, Louisville advances to the national championship to face either Notre Dame or Connecticut. The title game is scheduled for Tuesday night.

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