Schimmel leads No. 7 Louisville women past SMU
After getting challenged by SMU early, Louisville got its
offense going late in the first half and cruised to a win in the
opener of American Athletic Conference play.
Shoni Schimmel scored 18 points, Sara Hammond had 14 points and
10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season, and the
seventh-ranked Cardinals (13-1, 1-0) went on to a 71-51 win for
their sixth straight victory.
Schimmel made 4 of the team’s five 3-point shots, and Bria Smith
added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Louisville succeeded with its goal of shutting down SMU’s key
cog on offense, Keena Mays. Mays, the Mustangs’ leading scorer
averaging 20 points a game, was held to seven and was 1 of 6 from
the three-point line.
”Our goal was to try to limit her touches as much as we could
and I thought we did an outstanding job of that,” Louisville coach
Jeff Walz said. ”She’s a very explosive player who averages about
20 a night. We didn’t want her to get scoring early and get going
and build some confidence.”
SMU coach Rhonda Rompola wasn’t surprised by Louisville’s
”They did what we’ve been expecting every team to do leading up
to this game,” Rompola said. ”To be honest I’m really amazed
we’ve gone this long. Teams are going to trap her, double her. They
are going to face guard her. When teams do that, the rest of our
team has got to step up and help offensively.”
Akil Simpson had 14 points and Kiara Perry added 13 points and
nine rebounds for SMU (9-3, 0-1).
Simpson scored the first eight points for SMU and the Mustangs
kept it close early. Perry’s layup gave SMU a 23-21 lead with 7:59
Louisville answered with a 5-0 run and continued to expand its
advantage. Schimmel sank two straight 3s late in the first half and
the Cardinals led 47-32 at halftime.
Louisville outscored SMU 16-3 to open the second half. The
Mustangs were unable to close the gap despite the Cardinals
suffering a scoring drought after that run.
The Cardinals scored eight points over the last 10 minutes of
”We scored 24 points in a half of basketball,” Walz said.
”That’s very bad for us. Our goal is to continue to win and be at
the top, but you can’t do that playing like we did there for about
25 minutes. … You can’t sit there and say `Hey, were up 30 now
with 11 minutes, now well back things off.’ You’ve got to keep
putting the pedal to the metal.”
The Mustangs missed their first 11 3-point attempts and were 1
of 18 overall from beyond the arc.
After playing its first game in a week, Louisville will travel
to Temple on Wednesday and return home to face Cincinnati on
Hammond said facing teams such as LSU, Oklahoma and Florida
State has helped the Cardinals prepare for their AAC
”I think we’ve made strides throughout the season, especially
with our non-conference, how hard of a schedule it was,” said the
junior forward. ”To come out 12-1, that gives us confidence going
into our conference. We can always get better. We’re still working
on our turnovers. We’re still working on our communication on
”We’re continuing to get better. I don’t think necessarily
we’re exactly where we need to be, but we’ve made strides.”