CARDS TAKE GOLD MEDAL IN GLOBAL JAM
Down 66-65 to Canada with 30 seconds to go in the 4th quarter, the Cards got a game-winning three from UMass grad Sydney Taylor to give Louisville WBB a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. The bucket made the Cards the winners of the Gold Medal game in the 2023 Globl Jam...and it also served a bit bit of revenge for UofL -- having suffered a loss to Canada on Thursday by three points.
The Cards are probably glad this Team Canada squad isn't in the ACC.
It was a back-and-forth game on Sunday, Louisville outscoring the Canadians by seven points in the final quarter to get the "W". It was a win where Louisville played better than they had in any of the previous three games of the Jam, but the Cards are also a team that are still figuring it out in terms of playing together as a team. That's not strange, considering they've had less than a dozen practices together and there are only four student-athletes back from the 2022-23 squad.
Taylor had been hot earlier in the first half, going on a 8-0 run to help the Cards built a nice lead. Canada roared back to make in a two-point game at the half, though. Taylor ended up with 12 first half points. Her game-winner was her only score of the second half.
Canada started the second half on a roll, though, and held the Cards "bucketless" for close to the first seven minutes of the third quarter....and built a seven-point lead in the process. Louisville rallied in the fourth quarter to get back in to the contest and Taylor put in the three-pointer that gave Louisville the win.
Taylor's thoughts on the game-winner:
"It was just a regular out of bounds play...just to the get in and run the offense. I think that's be nine of ten seconds on the shot clock. I saw Nina Rickards come across, I screen for her to try and get her open. Both of the defenders went with her, left me wide open, so I took the shot. It wasn't for me, I promise."
Modesty, aside...it was a big shot for a team that'll have the rest of the summer and most of the fall to try and form some sort of identity and a game plan.
The contest started out with a bit of a twist, with Jeff Walz doing wholesale, five-for five substitutions on the floor early in the game to try and find a scoring combo or someone that would listen to him.. Louisville finished the contest strong, though, scoring seven straight points to take a 63-61 lead late in the fourth quarter.
The old adage goes: "Those who score the most, win...unless it's golf." And, with the players going back to campus to finish up summer classes, the coaching staff has video from four games to break down, analyze, learn from and use when the team returns for the beginning of the 2023-24 season practice. The Cards did score the most points on Sunday, though, and that got them the title.
They've found a three-point specialist in Taylor and Rickards looks like she could easily be a top-flight scorer in the pattern of an Evans, AD or Hines-Allen.
It should be a fun season to watch.