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January 8, 2013

Louisville women outlast Rutgers 66-57, OT

After trailing for most of the first half and half of the second, No. 15/13 Louisville took feisty Rutgers into overtime before winning 66-57. The Cardinals were led by 21 points from Shoni Schimmel and 18 from Monique Reid.

A win over a 9-6 team wouldn't normally elicit the type of cheers heard in the KFC Yum! Center Tuesday night, but this was Rutgers, frequently one of the toughest teams in the Big East.

Louisville (13-3, 1-1) took a 43-42 lead with just under nine minutes left on a layup by Monique Reid. It was Louisville's first lead since they lost an early 7-2 lead during a 15-0 Rutgers run early in the first half.

Reid hit 1-2 free throws with just under seven minutes left, but Louisville got the rebound and Reid hit a bankshot in the post to put louisville up 46-42.

Rutgers (9-6, 1-1) cut the margin to two points before Reid hit a jumper, but Rutgers' Erica Wheeler hit a three with 2:30 left to cut the margin to 48-47. After a missed shot by Louisville was rebounded by the Scarlet Knights, Wheeler sprinted downcourt and beat Schimmel to the basket for an easy layup to give Rutgers a 49-48 lead with just under two minutes left.

Louisville's Bria Smith was fouled on the inbounds play, and hit both free throws to put Louisville up 50-49 with 56 seconds left.

After Louisville's full court press forced Rutgers into a the final seconds of the shot clock, RU's Syessence Davis hit a leaning three with 27 seconds left.

Louisville brought the ball up the court and got it to Reid on the elbow, but she passed it back to Schimmel who nailed a 17-foot jumper with six seconds left.

Reid stole the inbounds pass, but Louisville couldn't take advantage. An inadvertent whistle stopped the clock with Louisville having the ball and two seconds left on the clock. The Cardinals couldn't get a shot off, and the teams went to overtime tied at 52-52.

A three by Antonita Slaughter got overtime started off right for Louisville, and the Cardinals took a 58-52 lead on a step-back three by Sara Hammond with just under four minutes left.

Louisville held its 58-52 lead until the 1:08 mark when Schimmel hit a floater in the lane to add some insurance the Cardinals' lead. Rutgers got its first points of overtime with under a minute left, but Louisville's lead was too much to overcome by that point.

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