Dec. 5, 2010
Box Score |
Coach Walz's press conference
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -
Louisville freshman Shoni Schimmel grew up in
Oregon, far away from the madness that is the rivalry between the
Cardinals and Kentucky. Listening to her new teammates, she quickly realized they were still smarting from a 34-point whipping at the hands of the Wildcats a year
"Everybody kind of made it a big deal, I'm thinking maybe it is kind of
a big deal," the guard said. "I understood what happened last year. We
weren't going to let it happen again."
Schimmel responded with 26 points, Becky Burke had 21 and the Cardinals
routed the eighth-ranked Wildcats 78-52 on Sunday in front of the
largest crowd to watch a women's game this year.
Schimmel, who also had six assists, and Burke hit 12 of 21 3-pointers to
send Kentucky to its worst loss since 2008.
"We said we were going to have a shootout to see who finished with more
(3-pointers) but we tied at six to six," Burke said with a laugh.
The Cardinals (6-3) were just as good at the other end of the floor.
They held the Wildcats (5-1) to 28-percent shooting while limiting them
to their lowest point total in nearly a year, exacting some revenge for
last season's embarrassing loss in Lexington.
Kentucky won that game 101-67 by forcing the Cardinals - eight months
removed from an appearance in the national championship game - into a
school-record 38 turnovers. It's a painful memory that has stuck with
Burke and she relished the chance to return the favor.
"It feels really good," Burke said. "They didn't let up a year ago and
we didn't let up today."
Reigning Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Victoria Dunlap led
Kentucky with 17 points and a career-high 23 rebounds before leaving
with a minor knee injury late in the second half. Maegan Conwright added
13 points but the Wildcats turned it over a season-high 22 times and
couldn't match the long-range shooting of Schimmel and Burke.
Kentucky made just three of 18 3-pointers and would get no closer than
10 points in the second half as its pressure defense struggled to stay
in front of the Cardinals. Louisville turned it over 21 times but was
never in any real danger after taking control with an 11-0 first-half
"It's the worst day we've had trapping and rotating since we've
implemented this (defensive) style," Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell
said. "If you don't hustle you can look silly doing it. Today was a bad
day to look silly but we did."
The Cardinals never trailed and led by as much as 19 in the first half
behind Schimmel, who hit her first three 3-point attempts.
Kentucky, however, closed to 55-45 on a layup by Dunlap with 9:22
remaining, momentarily quieting the crowd of 22,158 at Louisville's new
The only ones not concerned were the Cardinals. Schimmel hit a deep
stepback 3-pointer to kickstart a clinching 13-3 burst. Burke and
Schimmel both knocked down a pair of 3s during the run, with Burke's
sixth 3-pointer of the game giving Louisville a 68-48 lead with 6:10 to
"It hurts a lot," Dunlap said. "We are a team that plays defense, is
supposed to play defense, is supposed to hustle, supposed to do the
The Wildcats didn't do it against the Cardinals, a scenario Mitchell
says he saw coming in the days leading up to the game.
"We are not good enough to be able to just show up and beat anyone much
less on the road in a hostile environment in a rivalry game that means
so much," he said.
Mitchell will try to use the game as a wake-up call for his team, which
has been breathing rarified air in the top 10. He knows the ranking will
fall when the latest poll comes out Monday.
"We just did not get pressure on the basketball," he said. "Things we
normally do, we didn't do."