The Cardinal previews U of L’s women’s basketball season Monday, Sep 7 2020 

By Cole Emery– 

After a 28-4 season with the first outright ACC regular season title in school history, the women’s basketball team is looking to repeat last year’s success. 

With Jazmine Jones and Kylee Shook being selected 12th and 13th in the WNBA draft, the Cardinals will have some big shoes to fill. Both players were members of the All-ACC First Team, and Shook was the first player since 2009 to win a conference “Defensive Player of the Year” award.

Reigning ACC “Player of the Year” Dana Evans is entering her senior year with a lot of confidence. After transferring last year, Elizabeth Balogun and Elizabeth Dixon will be looking to make a bigger impact. Evans and Balogun started many games in the back court, so this experienced backcourt will be very helpful to next year’s squad. 

Three players were on the roster last year  but did not play a game. Nyah Green, a 6-foot-1 guard, redshirted her freshman year, but came to Louisville as a McDonald’s All-American and 12th ranked prospect by espnW Hoop Gurlz in the Class of 2019. Remani Parker, a 6-foot-4 forward, redshirted last year and was the 99th rated prospect by espnW Hoop Gurlz in the Class of 2019. Kiana Smith, a 6-foot guard, sat out last season after transferring from CAL due to NCAA transfer rules. 

The Cards are bringing on Hailey Van Lith, who was the top-ranked guard in the 2020 recruiting class according to espnW HoopGurlz. Van Lith was a member of the under 19 USA squad that won gold in the FIBA World Cup in 2019. She was also named 2019 FIBA 3×3 under 18 World Cup MVP and 2018 USA Basketball under 18 National Championship MVP.

Another big recruit coming next year is Olivia Cochran, a 6-foot-1 forward, who is ranked as the fourth-best forward in the 2020 recruiting class. She was also on the FIBA 3×3 under 18 World Cup team that won gold in 2019. 

Louisville is bringing in a new transfer as well. Ahlana Smith, a 5-foot-9 guard, played for UCLA during her freshman year then played for Gulf Coast State during her sophomore season. During her season at Gulf Coast State, she was named the 2019-2020 National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. 

Even with some Louisville greats moving on from their collegiate career, the Cardinals continue to work towards success and are looking to have a talented squad entering the 2021 season.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Women’s basketball secures victory on senior night Monday, Mar 2 2020 

By Cole Emery —

The No. 5 Louisville Cardinals defeated Virginia Tech in their final game of the year 70-53 at the KFC Yum! Center March 1.

The Cardinals (27-3, 16-2) never trailed during the game, and the Hokies did not score for the first 5:40 of the game. Walk-on senior Jessica Laemmle scored first with a 15-foot jumper. Despite the low amount of scoring, the Cards spread the ball around and assisted on five of their eight made shots for the quarter.

The Hokies (21-8, 11-7) came into the game scoring the second most three-pointers per game in the ACC, but the Cardinals’ powerful defense held Virginia Tech to just three of 15 from three-point range.

Virgina Tech brought their deficit to eight points thanks to a layup from junior Aisha Sheppard, but they did not bring the deficit any closer during the remainder of the game.

Senior Jazmine Jones led the charge for the Cards offensively with 18 points, three assists and two rebounds. Jones entered the game as the fourth best shooter in the nation at 55.1 percent and continued to be an essential piece to this potent Cardinal team.

Junior Dana Evans made her first return since she suffered an ankle injury Feb. 20 against Georgia Tech, and the Cardinals’ leading scorer accounted for 11 points, four assists, two rebounds and a steal off the bench.

Senior Kylee Shook continued to display her prowess with her fifth double-double in six games to finish out the season. One of the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist and ACC leader in blocked shots scored 15 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, assisted three shots, swiped a steal and blocked one shot.

This victory made history for the seniors of the team. They set a school record for most victories in a four-year career with their 124th win.

The Cardinals are taking a lot of momentum into the ACC tournament after finishing with five straight victories to end the regular season.

Louisville will play against the winner of the Syracuse and Virginia game in the quarterfinal of the ACC tournament March 6 at 2:00 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum on the ACC Network.

Photo by Anna Claire Will // The Louisville Cardinal

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Women’s basketball clinch ACC regular season title with win over Boston College Friday, Feb 28 2020 

By Cole Emery —

No. 5 Louisville Cardinals defeated the Boston College Golden Eagles 68-48 Feb. 27 at the KFC Yum! Center.

The Cards jumped out to an early 18-6 lead thanks to five forced turnovers that turned into seven points for Louisville.

Boston College fought back and went on a 11-2 run to finish the quarter down three points to the Cards. Sophomore Makayla Dickens scored nine points in the final two and a half minutes of the first quarter from beyond the arc.

The run left the Cardinals unaffected, and they went on a 13-2 run of their own to start the second quarter. During the run, senior Bionca Dunham scored six points, and junior Jazmine Jones capped off the run with a three-pointer to give them a 33-19 lead.

For the rest of the game, Boston College remained in a double digit deficit.

With five seconds remaining in the half, senior Kylee Shook swiped a steal and drained a buzzer-beating jumper. The Cards took a 46-24 lead into halftime.

Boston College outscored Louisville in the second half, but a dominant first half gave the Cards enough cushion to cruise to victory without their starting guards for the second game in a row. “Those are two significant players on our team,” Shook said. “So, we knew, us being upperclassmen, we had to lead the way and just go out hard.”

Shook racked up her fourth double-double in five games with 18 points and 10 rebounds. She also blocked two shots and secured two steals for the game. Jones scored 17 points, assisted three baskets and blocked three shots.

In their second straight start, redshirt senior Yacine Diop and sophomore Mykasa Robinson both played an important role in the victory. Diop scored 13 points, grabbed four rebounds and passed for two assists. Robinson scored seven points, secured five rebounds, assisted 5 shots, stole the ball three times and blocked one shot.

Amidst injury problems, “These kids have been unbelievable,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “It just shows the character and the fight that they have.”

The Cardinals will play Virginia Tech Mar. 1 in their final game of the season at the KFC Yum! Center at noon.

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Women’s basketball blows out Pittsburgh Wednesday, Feb 26 2020 

By Cole Emery–

No. 5 Louisville defeated Pittsburgh 79-47 Feb. 23 at the Petersen Events Center.

The Cards played the game without their starting guards junior Dana Evans and sophomore Elizabeth Balogun due to injuries.

A slow start led to Louisville taking a one point lead into the second quarter.

To start the second quarter, junior Jazmine Jones made both of her free-throws after being fouled. She then stole the ball during the next possession and made the transition layup. This sparked a 15-0 run for the Cards and opened up their lead to double digits.

During the second and third quarters, the Cardinals outscored Pittsburgh 50-17 thanks to their defensive ability. Louisville forced Pittsburgh to cause 10 turnovers during that span and 22 for the entire game.

Senior Kylee Shook helped defensively with three blocks in a three minute span during the third quarter.

In the starting line up due to injuries, redshirt senior Yacine Diop made her mark and finished the game with 15 points, five assists, five rebounds and four steals. Replacing the other injured guard, sophomore Mykasa Robinson scored two points, grabbed eight rebounds and eight assists.

Shook led the charge offensively with a team-high 17 points for the game.

“That was kind of my focus this year coming in as a senior” Shook said. “I felt like I had to be more aggressive on the offensive end.”

She also secured 10 rebounds and five blocks during the game. This marked Shook’s sixth double-double for the year and her third in the last four games.

Jones and senior Bionca Dunham both scored double-digit points as the Cardinals spread the ball around well with four players scoring double digits.

Louisville will face off against Boston College at the KFC Yum! Center Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. ET on the ACC network.

Photo by Anna Claire Will // The Louisville Cardinal

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Women’s basketball shows off defensive ability against Georgia Tech Sunday, Feb 23 2020 

The No. 5 Cardinals defeated the Yellow Jackets 58-47 Feb. 20 at the McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, Ga. 

Even though the Cardinals are known as an offensive powerhouse, leading the ACC in field-goal percentage and free-throw percentage, the Cards displayed their defensive ability in this game. They racked up eight blocks compared to zero from Georgia Tech. 

Senior Kylee Shook said after the game, “We knew they can drive amazing and their posts can score, so we did a good job helping out. We were strong on the perimeter, too.”

Shook made her impact known early on with the first basketball of the contest from a three-pointer assisted by sophomore Elizabeth Balogun. 

The Cards jumped out to an early 12-4 lead before Georgia Tech showed any life on offense. 

Junior Dana Evans made her presence known in the second quarter, scoring seven points in less than two minutes of play.

Senior Jazmine Jones showed off the ice in her veins with a jumper right before the buzzer to end the first half.  

The Cardinals took a 36-26 lead into halftime. 

The third quarter was the lowest scoring quarter for both teams and the only quarter Georgia Tech outscored Louisville.  Even though the Yellow Jackets outscored the Cards this quarter, the Cards ended the quarter on a 6-0 run thanks to an Evans three-pointer and Jones scoring a free-throw along with a layup in the final minute of the quarter.

The Yellow Jackets struggled to make a game-ending run. They brought their deficit to seven points, but sophomore Mykasa Robinson drained a jumper and assisted a Jones layup on the following possession. 

Shook made a couple of layups along with two Jones free-throws to hold off the Yellow Jackets from making a comeback in the fourth. 

Shook finished the game with 13 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks. Jones finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Evans finished with 14 points, two rebounds and two assists.

Photo by Anna Claire Will // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville Women’s Basketball downed NC State Thursday, Feb 20 2020 

No. 9 Louisville women’s basketball defeated the No. 4 North Carolina State Wolfpack 66-59 Feb. 12 at the Reynolds Coliseum.

This victory for the Cardinals (22-3, 11-2) came a game after they were upset inside the Carrier Dome Feb. 9 by the unranked Syracuse Orange. With this win, the Cardinals sit atop the ACC standings along with NC State (22-2, 11-2).

Louisville will look to enter back into the top five in the AP poll come Monday after an impressive victory.

Senior Bionca Dunham provided an early spark for the Cardinals in the first four minutes, putting up three points and a defensive rebound. Senior Jazmine Jones struck in the first quarter as well, swishing a three-pointer and banking in a pair of layups. Junior Dana Evans contributed four points and dimed an assist in the first quarter.

By the end of the second quarter, the Cardinals lead grew to ten. Jones and Evans bottomed three-point jumpers. Sophomore Mykasa Robinson made a jumper and a free-throw and dished an assist to Evans for a three-point bucket.

Louisville came out in the second half shooting efficiently from the field, shooting 57% from the field in the first five minutes of the third quarter.

A late third-quarter run by the Wolfpack brought their deficit to five points.

After a two-minute drought for the Cardinals, Senior Kylee Shook drove into the lane for a layup, increasing the lead to six as the third-quarter clock expired.

The Cardinals did not score till the 7:25 mark of the fourth quarter, allowing North Carolina State to creep within three points of the lead.

Senior Yacine Diop stroked a three-pointer to free the Cardinals from their fourth-quarter jitters and spread the lead back to six.

Minutes later, Jones hit a three-pointer to increase the lead to eight before crossing into the five-minute mark. Three points was as close as the Wolfpack got from tying the game.

Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz said, “We followed the scouting report and did exactly what we needed to do.” As time winded down the Cardinals played superb defense, shutting down North Carolina State. With 43 seconds remaining in the game, Junior Elizabeth Balogun drilled a dagger three-pointer to solidify the upset victory.

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Women’s basketball defeated by team USA Saturday, Feb 15 2020 

By Cole Emery —

The USA national team defeated the women’s basketball team 97-54 in their exhibition game Feb. 2.

The game started off with a layup by USA’s Skylar Diggins-Smith under the basket moments after the game opening tip. 

Senior Jazmine Jones answered with a layup of her own. Senior Kylee Shook drained a wide open three-pointer moments later. 

Redshirt senior Yacine Diop came off the bench to make an immediate impact with a layup then an assist to give the Cards a 14-13 lead. She then recorded a block after coming out of a timeout.

Louisville took a 21-17 lead going into the second quarter.

Despite a slow start for Team USA, Breanna Stewart helped surge the National Team with two layups in transition from long passes.

The matchup between Louisville’s Jones and former Cardinal Angel McCoughtry was an intense battle in the second quarter. Jones sparked the Cardinals after an abysmal start by draining a three-pointer. McCoughtry answered back by maneuvering around Jones for an easy layup the following possession.

Team USA took a 45-30 into halftime.

The experience National Team dominated the second half, but the Cardinals capitalized on some plays.

Senior Bionca Dunham drained a contested midrange shot followed by a three pointer by sophomore Elizabeth Balogun to start the second half.

Sue Bird began to light up from the three point line during the second half for team USA which seemed to be the ignitor towards a high efficiency on the offensive side of the ball.

Throughout the entire game, junior Dana Evans slashed inside and made her way to the basket time after time.

Despite the loss, Louisville head coach Jeff Walz said after the game, “It was good, because our players hear their coaches teaching in practice and they heard the same things we teach them.”

Jones led the team with 12 points and Evans had 11.

The Cardinals will face off against Florida State at the KFC YUM! Center Feb. 6 at 8:00 pm. 

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Women’s basketball handled Notre Dame Wednesday, Feb 5 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The No. 5 Louisville Cardinals women’s basketball team defeated Notre Dame 86-54 at the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind. Jan. 30. 

Louisville remains undefeated in ACC conference play and extends their current winning streak to 13 as they continue to blow by their fellow in-conference competitors. 

Junior Kylee Shook put the Cardinals in the score column first with a layup on the right side of the basket. Junior Dana Evans provided an early lift for the Cardinals with eleven points in the first quarter. Shook sent away a shot with a hefty block, grabbed a steal and drained a three-pointer. Senior Bionca Dunham scored six points in the first to add to the total. Louisville led the Fighting Irish 27-11 after the first quarter. 

The second quarter was a showcasing moment for senior Jazmine Jones. She bottomed eight points, all of which coming via jumpshot. 

Senior Yacine Diop dished out three assists and hit a jumper. Louisville grabbed six rebounds in the second quarter, two of them being offensive rebounds that turned into four points for the Cardinals. Louisville led Notre Dame by 21 points going into the halftime break.

Jones swished two free-throws to get the Cardinals going coming out of halftime. Seconds later, Jones banked in a lofty-layup off of an Evans assist. 

The Cardinals went cold from the field for two minutes in the third quarter, but that would be their longest drought of the game. At the 5:46 mark, sophomore Elizabeth Balogun put the Cardinals back on track with a silky jumper. A minute later Shook drained a three-pointer off of a Balogun assist. 

Evans kept the formula going by assisting Diop on her three-pointer. Louisville jumped out to an insurmountable margin going into the final quarter, leading the Fighting Irish 74-43. 

In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals toned it down on the offensive end, but turned up the heat on the defensive end. Louisville held Notre Dame to eleven points in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals racked up three steals and a block.

Evans finished with 17 points and six assists. Shook totaled 12 points and six rebounds. Jones shot for 14 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists. Balogun snatched five rebounds and shot for 11 points. 

Louisville will play No. 14 Florida State Feb. 6. The Seminoles currently stand at third place in the ACC conference rankings and will look to challenge the Cardinals. The game will be at the KFC Yum! Center at 8 p.m.

Photo by Anna Claire Will // The Louisville Cardinal

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No. 7 Louisville defeated Duke Monday, Jan 6 2020 

By Cole Emery —

Louisville won in the final moments against Duke 60-55 on Jan. 5. Junior Dana Evans made the go-ahead three-pointer with 28 seconds left in the game to secure the victory for the Cardinals.

Duke started off hot leading the Cardinals 22-12 after the first quarter.

Louisville was able to bring their deficit to seven points by halftime thanks to a solid defense.

Even though the Cardinals trailed for the majority of the game, they were able to outscore Duke during the second, third and fourth quarters.

The Bluedevils struggled to score and hold onto the ball during the fourth quarter. They were only able to capitalize on four of their 14 shots during the fourth quarter and turned the ball over twice.

After the Evans three-pointer, senior Bionca Dunham made the two clutch free-throws to secure the victory for the Cardinals.

Senior Jazmine Jones surpassed the 1,000 point mark for her career during this game. Jones finished with her career-high in points with 26. She also racked up 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals for the game.

Jones is the 30th player to do this in a career for the Cardinals, and she is only 12 points away from reaching the 29th spot in school history.

The Cards will be defending their undefeated record in the ACC when they face off against No. 23 Miami Jan. 9 at the Watsco Center at 8:00 p.m.

File photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Women’s Basketball: Players to look out for this season Saturday, Nov 9 2019 

By Riley Vance–

There are a few players fans can expect to see putting numbers up on the board as the women’s basketball team prepares for the 2019-20 season.

Sophomore guard Elizabeth Balogun and junior guard Dana Evans have been selected to the 2019-20 Preseason All-ACC Team, and freshman guard Nyah Green has been placed on the Newcomer Watch List.

Transfer Balogun was named ACC Freshman of the Year, as well as ACC Freshman of the Week four times while at Georgia Tech. She started all 30 games for the Yellow Jackets and averaged 14.6 points per game. As a freshman, Balogun scored 437 points last season, the seventh most points in Georgia Tech history.

Evans was named ACC Sixth Player of the Year and to the ACC All-Academic team. She ranked third with an averaged 10.4 points in the 16 ACC games she played in last season. Evans held a team best 4.0 assists per game.

Green comes to Louisville as a five-star prospect. She is the No. 12 player and seventh-best guard in the class of 2019. Green led her high school team, Bishop Lynch, to a TAPPS 6A state runner-up as a junior, averaging 18.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 37 games.

Seniors Jazmine Jones and Kylee Shook also show great promise. Jones started in 36 games last season, averaging 7.6 points. She posted a season-high 10 rebounds at Duke.

Shook started in three games last season, but played in a total of 35. She averaged 7.1 points per game. Shook was ranked seventh in ACC in blocks with 1.5 per game. She tallied career-highs with 15 rebounds and three assists.

In ACC play, Shook came in fifth in blocks with 1.7 per game, ninth in field goal percentage (.519), 14th in defensive rebounds with 4.9 per game, and 15th in rebounding with 7.0 per game.

Redshirt senior Yacine Diop is coming back from a season-ending knee injury last season, and senior Bionca Dunham will be completing her fourth season as a Cardinal.

Louisville has a talented group this year, but these are just a few standouts.

They breezed through their first game of the season on Nov. 5 against WKU with a 75-56 win.

Women’s basketball takes on Murray State on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at the KFC Yum Center.

Photo by Anna Disselkamp // The Louisville Cardinal

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