Schimmel helps Louisville women beat Rutgers 80-71

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 28, 2014 at 11:26 pm •  Published: January 28, 2014

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Jeff Walz and Louisville are one of those circled dates for almost all their opponents this season.

That's what happens when you reach the national championship game. So far, the Cardinals are embracing the challenge.

Shoni Schimmel scored 24 points, Asia Taylor added 19 and No. 5 Louisville rallied to beat Rutgers 80-71 on Tuesday night for its 14th straight victory.

"We're the Super Bowl game for most teams because they know beating us will help them get in the NCAA tournament," Walz said.

While most of the victories during their current winning streak came by double-digits, Louisville (21-1, 9-0 American Athletic Conference) had to rally for this win.

The Cardinals trailed 48-42 only 5 minutes into the second half before Schimmel and Sara Hammond took over. There was never any panic.

"We definitely have matured as a team going through our run last year," Schimmel said. "We learned a lot from it. For us, take it a basket at a time instead of trying to hit a home run shot."

Schimmel's 3-pointer started a 22-9 run over the next 8 minutes. Hammond followed with eight straight points, hitting a 3-pointer from the wing and then a three-point play. Bria Smith's three-point play with 9:21 left gave the Cardinals their first lead of the second half.

"We're definitely an inside-out team," Hammond said. "Shoni's been carrying us lately and it makes her life so much easier when we're scoring inside."

Schimmel's 3-pointer from the corner made it 64-57. Rutgers (15-5, 6-3) closed to 66-63 on Tyler Scaife's jumper with 4:53 left, but could get no closer.

"We're ranked fifth in the country and everyone is trying to beat us," Schimmel said. "Rutgers has to beat us once and we take that to heart."

Scaife, a freshman guard, led the Scarlet Knights with a season-high 25 points. Her previous best of 22 came against top-ranked Connecticut.

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