Inability to stop Schoni Schimmel sinks Colorado
In last season's win over Louisville, Colorado held Shoni Schimmel to four points.
This time, the No. 11 Buffaloes had no answer for Schimmel as the senior tallied a season high 30 points - including 13 of 16 free throws -in a 69-62 loss to the No. 7 Cardinals Saturday.
Lexy Kresl led Colorado with 17 points.
Jen Reese, wearing a protective mask for a broken nose she suffered in practice earlier this month, added 14 points and 14 rebounds for Colorado (9-1.
Arielle Roberson, last year's Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, collected her fourth foul midway through the second half. She had 14 points and five rebounds. Three players - Brittany Wilson, Jasmine Sborov and Asley Wilson - fouled out of the game in which the teams combined on 70 free throw attempts.
''What really hurt is today was dribble penetration,'' Colorado coach Linda Lappe said. ''It was tough for us to guard (Schimmel) at times.''
Key offensive rebounds on missed free throws helped Louisville. The Cardinals had 52 total rebounds, compared to 47 for Colorado.
''We've been begging our players to do a better job on defensive rebounding the whole season,'' Lappe said. ''About five games ago I said it was going to hurt us at some point. When you're outrebounding teams by 12 or 15, they don't really understand what they're going to see when you face a team like Louisville, who crashes hard and gets in there and puts pressure on you.''
''Missing the free throw rebounds and not boxing out'' were key miscues, said Kresl. ''They got a few too many opportunities on the offensive boards.''
It was Schimmel who secured the win for the Cardinals (12-1). No team led by more than six until Louisville broke it open with a 7-0 run to go up 53-46 with 6:42 left.
Colorado chipped away at the lead. Brittany Wilson's layup with 24 seconds left cut the gap to 65-62.
Schimmel sank two free throws to go up 67-62. The Buffaloes couldn't convert on the next possession and Schimmel's layup put the punctuation mark on the victory.
Schimmel said she studied video of last year's game.
''The difference is we learned from the game last year,'' she said.
When Louisville's outside shots weren't falling - the Cardinals were 1 of 10 from three-point range - it went inside, garnering 30 points in the paint.
Kresl had nine of the Buffaloes' first 12 points and the junior's three-pointer gave Colorado its first lead, 8-5. Louisville battled back and went ahead 16-12 on a three-pointer by Shoni Schimmel.
On two straight possessions, Asia Taylor twice completed a three-point play after being fouled while making a layup, bolstering Louisville's advantage to 22-16 midway through the first half.
Jude Schimmel's two straight layups closed out the first half to give Louisville a 33-29 halftime lead.
''We think (this game is) going to make us tougher and help us handle pressure a lot more,'' Kresl said. ''It helped us see a lot of different defenses. This prepared us a lot for conference time.''
Lappe said she was pleased with her team's overall effort.
''You want to be in a position to have a chance to win at the end of the game, and we had that,'' she said. ''We just didn't make enough plays down the stretch.''