Shoni Schimmel reached the 2,000 career point mark as third ranked Louisville defeated Houston 81-62 on Wednesday night at the KFC YUM! Center.
Houston kept the game competitive through much of the first half, but Louisville closed the final six minutes of the first half on a 14-5 run to put the game out of reach.
After going just 3 of 13 from three in the first half, Louisville worked the ball inside in the second half, scoring 20 points in the paint.
“We talked at halftime about how we were forcing up too many three’s and dribbling too much in the first half. So I told them we need to shoot the three inside out,” U of L head coach Jeff Walz said. “We did a really nice job at getting the ball in the post and made some pull up jump shots. In return, we shot a much better percentage from the field.”
Sara Hammond scored 17 points and added six rebounds. Emmonni Henderson finished with 12 points.
Henderson is averaging 9.2 points over her past five games.
“She is instant offense when she comes off the bench. She can probably score six points in three minutes. She’s definitley improved,” Hammond said. “She is starting to pick and choose now when there are good situations to score because teams are double and triple teaming her in the post.”
For Schimmel, who scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds, the milestone season continued.
“It’s a great accomplishment to be able to score 2,000 points. It’s been great to be at Louisville for four years and it’s special to be able to share it not only with my teammates, but with the fans as well, just because I’ve put a lot of work into it. It’s just very special,” Schimmel said.
Schimmel is just the second University of Louisville Women’s basketball player to reach 2,000 points, Angel McCoughtry sits atop the career list in points with 2,779.
“It’s great. It’s quite an accomplishment. I thought she did a nice job tonight. She didn’t really force any shots especially in the second half. I just thought she let the game come to her,” Walz said. “She’s had a remarkable career, there’s no question about it. We’re just hoping we can finish it on a high note.”
Even with a 19 point victory, Walz continues to look for a more cohesive unit. Louisville (26-2) hosts Rutgers on Sunday.
“Now we have a Rutgers team and if we play Sunday the way we played tonight we are not going to win. That is the hard part to try and get your players to understand. A 19-point win is great but that performance will not get you a win on Sunday,” Walz said.