Monday, December 30, 2013
Monday Cardinal Couple -- Streaky Cards take 71-51 win over SMU
MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- Shoni's 18 leads Louisville past stubborn SMU
Senior Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel scored 18 points and Bria Smith and Sara Hammond joined her in double figures as Louisville women's basketball improved their record to 13-1 with a 71-51 win over SMU Sunday afternoon in the KFC YUM! Center.
It took the Cards awhile to get untracked in the first game of the AAC regular schedule. Although UofL was having success in keeping conference-leading scorer guard Kenna Mays quiet, forward Akil Simpson was having a career game against Louisville. Simpson scored the first bucket of the game, her jumper pulled SMU within two at 10-8 at the 15:18 mark and she had 10 of the Mustang's first 13 points after two free throws with 11:53 on the clock to cut Louisville's lead to 14-13.
SMU would still be challenging the Cards with 7:59 left in the first half...a Kiara Perry layup gave the Dallas visitors a 23-21 lead.
The final eight minutes of the half belonged to Louisville.
Three Sara Hammond scores and four points from Emmonnie Henderson pushed Louisville out to a 34-26 lead over the next five minutes. Sara and "E" would score again and back-to-back Shoni threes had the Cards ahead 44-30 with 84 ticks left on the clock. Megan Deines converted on a plus-one to give UofL their largest lead of the half at 47-30 and the Cards took a 47-32 lead to the locker room.
Louisville had held the 20 point + Mays to four points on 2-7 shooting...and had shut down Simpson after her big start.
The Cards continued the hot streak when the final half began. A 10-0 run to begin play, keyed by three straight Bria Smith scores, had Louisville comfortably ahead 57-32 with five minutes gone. The Cards captured the next five minute segment 6-1 and Cortnee Walton's layup put Louisville in command 63-33 with 10:52 left in the game.
SMU finally hit their first basket of the second half 18 seconds later and actually outscored the Cards 18-8 the rest of the way...but it was too little, too late for the Mustangs...who were plagued by 27.6% shooting in the final twenty.
Mays finished with just seven points on 3-13 shooting...going 1-6 from beyond the arc. The Mustangs did force Louisville into 18 turnovers for the game but went a woeful 1-18 from three-point range.
Jeff Walz distributed the court time evenly Sunday...no Card getting more than 29 minutes or less than 11. Guard Monny Niamke continued to impress off the bench...she's the best defensive stopper of Louisville guards and a little more time spent learning the Louisville offensive patterns and sets would bode well for her.
Emmonnie Henderson gave a strong performance with six points in 11 minutes to lead the bench...if, in fact, it can be said that there are any "bench" players on this team. Walz brought in Niamke, Walton, Dyer and Gibbs with just 4:01 gone in the first half and all the Cardinals played at least five minutes in the first twenty. The liberal substitution pattern continued in the final twenty...Asia Taylor, Walton, Niamke, Deines and Henderson were on the court when the game ended.
Louisville heads to Philly next for a 4 p.m. New Year's Day game against the Temple Owls.
THE FINAL WORD
- Shoni Schimmel passed Monique Reid and Kristin Mattox Sunday to become fourth on the all-time scoring list for Louisville. She's had a great last two games...averaging 24 points per contest. Next, Jazz Covington...68 points away.
- The Cards were outscored 7-1 in the final four minutes of Sunday's game...the final three of those minutes with the Schimmel sisters on the bench.
- Puzzling is Asia Taylor's recent performances. After a commanding start to the season, she produced only four points and four rebounds in sixteen minutes.
- Two Cards finished with double-doubles Sunday...Bria Smith and Sara Hammond. It was Smith's third career double-double and career record in rebounding with 11.
- Stay away from the TV, Jeff.
When asked if he caught either of the UofL games Saturday, Coach Walz explained he was at a family Christmas get-together and saw bits and pieces of the games. He didn't catch any football until it was 22-2. Maybe we can get him to quit watching men's basketball in entirety.
- Louisville's 24 points in the second half were the lowest point production in a half this season. Maybe they were worried about the Bears game? To their credit, they did hold SMU to just 19 points in the final half.