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HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (AP) – Jazmine Jones scored 21 points off the bench, including nine during a 20-2 third-quarter run that helped No. 2 Louisville rout Northern Kentucky 85-57 rout on Sunday.
The Cardinals (9-1) had to rally several times just to lead the determined Norse 37-35 at halftime. Jones’ quick layup started the surge before she added a 3-pointer, two free throws and another layup for a 20-point advantage that included a pair of Elizabeth Balogun layups and a 3 by Dana Evans. Louisville also turned its defense up a notch and eventually outscored NKU (4-5) 31-9 while holding the Norse to 27% shooting in the quarter to bounce back from last week’s 67-60 loss at Ohio State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Jones finished 9 of 10 shooting with four rebounds. Evans added 16 points with three 3s. The Cardinals also dominated the boards 42-20.
Molly Glick made three 3-pointers for 13 points, Carrisa Garcia had 13 and Ally Niece 12 for the Norse, who had won their previous four games following an 0-4 start.
Cardinals 13th-year head coach Jeff Walz, who played for NKU’s men’s basketball team, was presented with a ceremonial ball before the game.
Louisville: The Cardinals shuffled their starting lineup with Yacine Diop starting for the first time this season and senior Jessica Laemmle making her first career start. The shakeup allowed them to hang in what was a back-and-forth contest for 20 minutes before their increased intensity on both ends seized control in the third quarter.
NKU: The Norse stayed close for a while behind a 2-3 zone defense and Glick’s 3-point shooting that offset Louisville’s height advantage. That size difference took its toll on rebounding and paint scoring, where they were dominated 44-20. After a 6-of-12 start from long range, they made just 2 of their final 10 attempts.
Louisville’s rebound after losing at Ohio State should keep the Cardinals in the Top 10.
Louisville visits No. 15 Kentucky on Sunday.
Northern Kentucky visits Indiana State on Dec. 16.