Louisville women make Valentine’s Day a happy day

What a nice way to start the day, waking up to a sweet Valentine greeting, a  double-layered box of Whitman’s candy, and tickets to a dinner playhouse production. Happy Valentine’s Day, indeed.

Adding to that the University of Louisville women’s basketball team handling fourth-ranked North Carolina State 66-59 the night before. The Cardinals moving back up to a tie for a first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference and in possession of the tie-breaker.

The UofL women snapping a two-game losing streak, serving notice that they will be in the hunt for a second ACC championship. Moving back into contention for a highly coveted seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

And how about Kylee Shook, shaking the nice girl role, scoring 10 points and 10 rebounds? Even more impressive was Kylee’s defensive domination of NC State’s 6-foot-5 Elissa Cunane, averaging 17 points per game entering the contest.

Shook would totally contain Cunane, limiting her to only 10 points, one field goal and seven free throws. Totally out of rhythm, Cunane lowering her head at one point only to have the ball batted back over her shoulder. Looking lost and desperate, that was Cunane. Shook had a whopping total of seven blocks for the night.

Jazmine Jones, meanwhile, back at her best, leading all scorers with 19 points, including three 3-pointers. She would also corral eight rebounds and make three assists. Dana Evans was looking more like her old self as well, with 14 points, four rebounds and four assists.

“We had a great week of practice,” said Jones. “The intensity was great. Everybody was dialed in and focused. We knew this game was a must-win for us. We knew we were coming into a hostile environment and had to bounce back … We came out, we played tough, we played hard and we got the job done.”

Elizabeth Balogun, back from her Serbian sojourn, adding nine points and grabbing seven rebounds. Most importantly, returning the chemistry to a team that needed her much more than she would have ever guessed.

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.