Bria Smith scored 16 points and Sara Hammond finished a rebound shy of a third straight double-double as No. 12 Louisville held off Villanova 55-49 Sunday.
Hammond had 10 points and nine rebounds, as did teammate Antonita Slaughter. Smith added seven boards, six steals and four assists for the Cardinals (22-6, 10-4 Big East), who bounced back from a 73-62 loss against South Florida.
Laura Sweeney paced the Wildcats (18-8, 7-6) with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Villanova shot 37.3 percent (19 of 51) from the floor and hit 5 of 15 from 3-point range.
Louisville hit 11 of 17 foul shots to the Wildcats' 6-of-12 showing, and outrebounded Villanova 42-31.
Villanova led 42-40 before Slaughter hit a go-ahead 3 with 6:15 left, sparking a 7-1 Cardinals' run. After a Sweeney layup, Louisville's Sheronne Vails hit a jumper and Slaughter two free throws to lead 51-45.