RUSSELL, CANADIANS WIN GLOBL JAM
July has been a pretty good month for Louisville women's basketball player Merissah Russell.
Russell was on the Canada U 23 squad that participated in the inaugural "five games in six days" Globl Jam event in Toronto's Matamay Center. Aaliyah Edwards (UConn) was named MVP of the Jam, but Russell, a 5'11" Louisville WBB junior guard from Ottawa, Ontario, averaged 12.6 a game for the Canada team who went 5-0 and defeated France for the title.
Canada began their Jam play on July 5th, with a 65-53 win over Belgium. Russell had eight points for the squad. Wednesday, July 6th put Canada up against USA and Russell had 14 points for Canada in a 78-69 win over the USA. France was next for Russell and company and the result was Canada's largest win so far in the Jam with a 73-56 win where Russell went for 17 points.
The win advanced Canada to the semifinals on Saturday, July 9th with a rematch against USA. And, it resulted in Canada's biggest win of the tournament, a 85-60 win. Representing the USA in the event was the Virginia Commonwealth WBB squad .Russell had 13 points in the win that advanced Canada to the Sunday finals against France. The VCU team went 16-12 in 2021-22 and made it to the second round of the WNIT. Was it the strongest squad the USA could have put in the tournament? Probably not, but the Rams do have five Canadians on their squad and top notch scorer Taya Robinson , who has finished her eligibility at VCU
Canada defeated France for the second time in the event -- a 78-60 win where Russell had 11 points and three three-pointers to give the Canadians their fifth win and the title.
It's a impressive and encouraging start that will lead to Russell's eventual third year with the Cards. As a sophomore in 2021-22, she saw action in 18 games . She saw 118 minutes, or about 6.6 minutes a game. She scored 25 points for the Cards, 11th-highest on the squad -- and sank three of her nine three-point attempts.
One would think the Canada showing would bode well for Russell and her third year as a Card. She comes back to a Louisville squad that, including her, has five returning guards from last year and nine total guards listed.
We think Russell will be a valuable part of the UofL roster in 2022-23 and. if she can display that three-point shooting touch she did in the GLOBL Jam, she'll see a lot of important minutes.