Schimmel's shot lifts No. 3 Louisville over USF

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 9, 2014 at 4:58 pm •  Published: March 9, 2014
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UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Shoni Schimmel has never been afraid to take the big shots for Louisville.

The senior guard added another one Sunday, making a pullup in the lane with 6 seconds left to lift the third-ranked Cardinals to a 60-56 win over South Florida in the American Athletic Conference semifinals.

"I just went with the ball and had numbers in transition. I saw the pullup was there and shot it," said Schimmel, who scored 17 points to lead the Cardinals.

The victory assured Louisville another game against top-ranked UConn on Monday night for the inaugural conference tournament title.

"We're going to enjoy this for an hour or two. We'll watch some film and we'll sit down and break down UConn again," coach Jeff Walz said. "We know in order to beat them we have to play a great game at the defensive end of the floor because they score so well. We'll have to figure out a way to score. You've got to put 70 on the board yourself and I don't think they've allowed 70 all year."

Louisville lost to UConn by 20 points last Monday night at home.

"They're a great basketball team," Walz said. "We know that we have to get it into a half-court game. We can't allow them to score in transition."

The Cardinals (30-3) almost didn't make it to the title game.

With the score tied at 56, Courtney Williams missed a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left for South Florida. Schimmel then drove up the court and pulled up in the lane for the go-ahead jumper. Her sister, Jude, stole the ball at midcourt from Williams and hit two free throws to seal the win.

Williams and Inga Orekhova each scored 19 points to lead South Florida (19-12), which was looking for its first win over a top-10 team.

Trailing 51-46 with just over 8 minutes left, Louisville rallied behind consecutive 3-pointers by Tia Gibbs and Shoni Schimmel. Those were Schimmel's first points of the second half.