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.