The University of Louisville women’s basketball team is coming home with some new hardware as the Cardinals claimed the gold medal and were 2023 GLOBL JAM champions after a thrilling 68-66 win over Team Canada Sunday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. With the Cards down two and under 30 seconds left, Sydney Taylor knocked down the game-winning three-pointer and it was the final basket of the game after the Cardinals locked down on defense to clinch the win.

Taylor led the Cardinals with 15 points in the gold medal game and was named Tournament MVP. Over the four games, Taylor tallied 53 points and led the Cardinals in scoring twice. Olivia Cochran added 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting against Canada and she hit some clutch shots in the closing minutes. Nina Rickards led the Cards with 10 rebounds and added nine points and a team-high seven assists. The Cards as a team had 18 assists on 27 made baskets against Canada. 

It was a slow start for both teams as the defenses held the edge in the game’s early minutes. The Cardinals forced Canada into four turnovers early on in the quarter as the Louisville offense worked to get into the game. At the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals trailed 13-10.

The Cardinals offense forced the issue early in the second as they earned two trips to the free throw line on the opening two possessions of the quarter. Jayda Curry and Kiki Jefferson knocked in each of their free throws and the Cardinals had their first lead of the game at 14-13. The Cardinals scored on each of their first five possessions of the quarter and forced Team Canada to call a timeout after a Taylor layup. Taylor scored eight-straight points that led to the timeout by Canada and the Cards were up 22-15.

Canada went on a run of their own and tied the game with just a few minutes before halftime. In the last possession of the half, Merissah Russell beat her defender to the rim and made a layup to give the Cards a 34-32 lead at the break.

Taylor led the Cards with 12 first-half points and was 2-for-5 from behind the arc. Eight different players scored for Louisville in the first half and the Cards recorded 12 assists on 13 made baskets over the first 20 minutes.

Canada took the lead back in the third quarter and it got as high as eight in the frame. The Cardinals struggled from the floor in the third and trailed 49-44 heading into the final quarter of the tournament. 

After making the final shot of the third quarter, the Cards continued to scrape away at the Canada lead. Eylia Love tallied two offensive rebounds on the same possession and Jayda Curry hit a floater for the first basket of the fourth. On the next possession, Curry found herself open behind the arc and hit a three to tie the game at 49-49 and forced Canada to call a timeout.

Canada regained the lead after Curry’s three but the Cards kept hanging around as the quarter was winding down. With under three minutes left, the Cardinals scored seven-straight points to take the lead, 63-61, after two free throws from Curry. 

Both teams traded buckets as Canada tied the game on a floater but Cochran responded with a layup of her own. Canada hit a three on their next possession and they held a 66-65 lead with 48.8 seconds left. Taylor did not hear a bell for the Cardinals as she calmly hit a three as the shot clock was winding down and gave the Cardinals a 68-66 lead with 29.5 seconds left. That was the final basket of the game as the Cardinals locked in on defense to claim the championship.

The Cardinals will return to campus as a number of players finish out their summer classes. The full team will report at the beginning of the fall semester in the middle of August. The 2023-24 season will officially begin in the first few weeks of November. 

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of

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