By Sam Draut
A day after learning senior forward Antonita Slaughter would miss the rest of the season, the Cardinals put together one of their most complete performances of year.
“I think it was the best all-around game we played this year, no question about it. We haven’t made free throws. It was a really good basketball game and we needed this game. I was not expecting this, not at all. I think our kids needed it,” U of L head coach Jeff Walz said.
The number seven University of Louisville women’s basketball defeated Wright State 99-40 on Saturday night at the KFC YUM! Center.
Shoni Schimmel led the Cardinals with 17 points, six rebounds, and three assists. The senior guard hit four three point field goals in the first half and also entered the top five in career assists at U of L.
Front-court starters Sara Hammond and Asia Taylor each finished with 12 points and combined for 10 rebounds.
Shawnta Dyer provided a boost off the bench for the front-court, finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds.
“Shawnta is doing a very nice job. It is about her getting back in to the flow of things. Her conditioning is going to be a big part of it. I saw tonight she is getting in better shape, which is why you are starting to see the productivity in what she was doing,” Walz said. “She was playing really well last year, up until she tore her ACL. If we can get her back to full strength it is going to give us another option in the post.”
Cortnee Walton added nine points and a game high 12 rebounds.
Dyer and Walton played 22 minutes each, combining for 10 of 13 from the field, the two could see extended time with the loss of Slaughter.
“They did a lot of good things. We’ve been trying to get them the ball and get them going so when we play bigger games they will be ready. We’re trying to give them good quality minutes and it’s going to help us in the end,” Shoni Schimmel said. “They rebounded and scored tonight it was a big emphasis on them because they didn’t have much down low. They played well tonight.”
Defensively, the Cardinals locked in early. Wright State shot just 18.6 percent from the field in the first half and was limited to 17 points.
“We defended. I thought we did a really nice job of defending people without fouling. We’re statistically one of the poorest fouling teams,” Walz said.
U of L took a 55-17 lead into halftime, but remained focused in the second half as Wright State finished shooting 23 percent from the field and 22 turnovers.
For the second consecutive game, U of L finished with more 20 assists. Junior guard Jude Schimmel had nine of the team’s 23 assists.
“I thought we made the extra pass. And then we didn’t over pass, which is something that happens when you’re trying to tell kids to get the ball reversed and don’t shoot it on the first shot. At times you can make too many passes. But I thought today we took the right shot at the right time,” Walz said.
U of L will face Austin Peay Saturday Dec. 14 at the KFC YUM! Center.