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SDSU's 9 FGs lead to disaster; Louisville slugs Jackrabbits by 53

The No. 8 Louisville Cardinals picked up its third consecutive win. Louisville’s shut down defense proved effective holding the South Dakota State Jackrabbits to only 30-points.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Oregon State vs South Dakota State Susan Ragan-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville, KY — It’s been a big week of wins for the University of Louisville with sophomore Quarterback Lamar Jackson winning the Heisman Trophy. The No. 8 Louisville Cardinals continued the big wins crushing South Dakota State, 83-30.

The Cardinals held the Jackrabbits to their lowest scoring game of the season. Louisville’s shut down defense smothered South Dakota State, allowing only nine made field goals for the game.

South Dakota State was clearly impacted by the loss of their leading scorer, Macy Miller, who averages 14.9 points per game. Without Miller, the Cardinals turned their attention to the Jackrabbits second leading scorer, Madison Guebert. Guebert, a phenomenal three-point shooter, has connected on 32-treys this season. But tonight, Louisville limited Guebert to only one made field goal and a season-low two points.

“Madison, number 11... She shoots 48-percent from the three-point line,” Coach Jeff Walz told the media. “We held her to 0-for-7 because we were harassing her. Whenever she got the ball, we tried to be there.”

Louisville also effectively shut down Ellie Thompson, a 49.4-percent shooter who came into this evening's match-up averaging 11-points. Thompson misfired on four shots from the field, three shots from beyond the arc and missed both of her free throws. However, Thompson was still an asset to the Jackrabbits as she pulled down five boards.

The Cardinals came out hot in the first period, scoring 11 unanswered points and forcing a South Dakota State timeout with 5:14 remaining in the period. Out of the timeout, the Jackrabbits found hit their stride as Tiffaney Flaata picked up four fast points and Kerri Young connected on a three-pointer.

Louisville limited the Jackrabbits to 20-percent shooting and only nine points. The Cardinals defense forced eight turnovers and converted the turnovers into eight points.

Jazmine Jones and Cortnee Walton owned the first period for Louisville, as each grabbed four points.

The Cardinals held the Jackrabbits scoreless for the final 3:57 of the first period and at the end, Louisville held a 17-9 advantage.

Louisville continued its dominance at the beginning of the second, as a made field goal by Ciera Johnson put the Cardinals up by 10.

South Dakota State came out playing zone, but it proved ineffective as Louisville picked up 10-points in the paint. The Jackrabbits could not handle Jones as she connected on 3-of-3 from the field, racking up eight points with her perfect pull-up jumper.

“Everyday in practice Coach Walz and Coach Sam Purcell have been telling me to be aggressive and don’t be afraid to shoot the pull-up jumper,” Jones told the media. “That’s what I did today and shots were falling.”

Louisville held South Dakota State to only two made field goals in the second period, limiting the Jackrabbits to five points. Once again, the Cardinals forced eight turnovers, this time converting the turnovers into 11-points. The Cardinals kept the Jackrabbits from scoring the final 5:38 of the first half.

By the half, the Cardinals had sailed to a 24-point lead behind 45.7% shooting.

Louisville came out hot in the third period racking up 23-points on nine made field goals.

South Dakota State’s offensive struggles continued as the Jackrabbits could only connect on 4-of-15 from the field.

Despite their offensive struggle, the Jackrabbits held an advantage on the boards. South Dakota State pulled down 14-rebounds, eight of which on the defensive glass.

Young fought to bring her team within striking distance of the Cardinals, scoring eight of the Jackrabbits’ 11 third period points. However, Louisville sailed ahead behind Jones, Asia Durr and Myisha Hines-Allen.

Louisville grabbed five steals in the third period, which led to eight points in transition. The Cardinals also controlled the paint, outscoring the Jackrabbits, 14-8.

The Cardinals entered the final period with a 61-25 lead.

Louisville only allowed South Dakota State to score five points in the final period. The Cardinals proved they can play a dominant game from start to finish for the first time this season.

Louisville showed its depth in the final period with 20 of its 22-point fourth-period points coming off the bench. Sydney Zambrotta was key for the Cardinals as she picked up 10-points in 10 minutes. Zambrotta hit two three-pointers and added two more shots from the field.

Even with the starters on the bench, Louisville’s defense was crushing, limiting South Dakota State to an 8.3 field goal percentage. The Jackrabbits were held scoreless in the final 8:11 as Louisville went on an 18-0 run to close out the game.

The Cardinals came away with a solid, resume building win against South Dakota State as they defeated the Jackrabbits 83-50.

“South Dakota State is a really good team,” Cortnee Walton spoke of Louisville’s success. “We did a really great job preparing for this game, and I thought we did a great job on defense and execution.”

Walton went on to say, “Our team has the ability to consistently play shut down defense... We held a great team to only 30-points the entire game.”

Louisville Coach Jeff Walz was also pleased with his team’s performance saying, “It’s the best we played defensively from start to finish.”

Top Scorers

Louisville had three players post double-figures: Freshman Jazmine Jones had a breakout game, posting a career-high 15-points. Myisha Hines-Allen and Sydney Zambrotta round out the top scorers for Louisville as both added 10-points apiece.

Cortnee Walton controlled the boards for the Cardinals pulling down nine rebounds, while Briahanna Jackson dished out a team-best six assists.

For the Jackrabbits, Kerri Young racked up 13-points on 6-of-16 shooting.

Next Up

The Cardinals are back in action Friday as they face the College of Charleston at the KFC Yum! Center.