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Louisville Knocks Off #1 Oregon 72-62

Louisville wins Paradise Jam Tournament

NCAA Womens Basketball: Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament - Louisville vs NC State Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday I said that Louisville’s win over Oklahoma State wasn’t a thing of beauty. Well, apparently they were saving the best for last. However, it didn’t start that way. At the end of the first quarter the Cards were down 24-13 and with it being the third game in three days you could only wonder if they had the legs to mount a comeback and maintain a lead. They did. Instead it was Oregon who seemed to wear down. It was Oregon who seemed rattled. It was Oregon who lost.

Louisville held a five point lead going into the second half, and they came out swinging. Kylee Shook made two jumpers in the first 40 seconds of the half to push the Louisville lead to 10. Oregon cut into it but going into the last quarter the Cards held on to a 9 point advantage. The question remained did they have what it takes to finish against one of the best teams in the country?

Going into the 5 minute media timeout Louisville still had a 10 point lead, but of course the Ducks wouldn’t go away that easily. The Cards hung tough, but with under two minutes to go the lead was cut to 6 and Oregon got the ball on a Louisville turnover. However, they couldn’t convert at the other end and Kylee Shook came up with a big rebound. The Cards made their free throws to seal the win.

Dana Evans was the tournament MVP. She finished this game with 17 points and 6 assists. Kylee Shook made the all-tournament team. She had a double double with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Bionca Dunham had 12 rebounds and 6 points.

After the game an energized Coach Walz spoke with Nick Curran. He said, “Third game. Third day of legs. Everybody gets a little tired....Thing of it is, we competed. Norika came in in the first half and gave us 17 unbelievable minutes....Elizabeth Balogun played all 40. Dana played all 40.” He added, “It was just hard fought. We gutted that out.”

Jazmine Jones got in foul trouble including two quick fouls in about 30 seconds. Coach Walz laughed, “For about 10 of Jaz’s 23 [minutes] I thought she was on Oregon’s team. I’ve never seen her do what she was doing. Then she comes up with a couple of big plays for us....She was great. Three assists and one turnover.”

He said, “It’s great to come out here and knock them off on a neutral floor. But it’s not gonna put us in the Final Four. It’s not gonna put you in a national championship game. We’ve got a lot of work in front of us....We aren’t going to finish the year undefeated I can promise you that much.”

He closed with, “Everybody thought Oregon would walk away with this. It just wasn’t the way it was going to be ‘cause I know we’ve gotten tougher. From day 1 to now we’re starting to learn how hard you have to play, and I was really proud of these young women.”

Up next Louisville moves its road trip from St. Thomas to Columbus, Ohio. They take on Ohio State on Thursday, December 5th. The game is at 8PM and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.