Louisville women advance to the Elite Eight
Home Sweet Home. No. 5 Louisville crushed 7th-seeded LSU 73-47 Sunday afternoon in the KFC Yum! Center. The Cardinals (33-4) advance to the Elite Eight to play 4th-seeded Maryland, which beat top seed Tennessee 73-62.
Louisville's defense held LSU to just 16 of 67 shooting (23.9 percent) for the game and just 1 of 9 from three-point range.
"Louisville does a great job of switching up their defenses," LSU coach Nikki Caldwell said. "... I thought our shot selection really hurt us. We didn't get any ball reversal... I felt like we got some good looks, but we didn't knock down any of those good looks."
Louisville's smothering defense exhausted a short-handed LSU squad by halftime and the Tigers only hit 7 of 37 shots in the second half.
Whether it was the large crowd or the emotions of the moment, Louisville didn't start off hot. The Cardinals first five possessions ended with two missed shots and three turnovers.
Louisville missed eight of its first 10 shots and trailed 6-4 with 14:37 left when Shoni Schimmel hit a three to give the Cardinals a 7-4 lead. LSU led 12-9 with 12:31 left before halftime before Louisville went on a 7-0 run to take the lead for good.
After trailing 12-9, Louisville closed the half on a 32-11 run.
LSU briefly cut Louisville's lead to single digits at 24-16, but a three by Tia Gibbs put Louisville up 27-16.
A pair of free throws by Jasmine Rhodes cut Louisville's lead to 27-18, but a driving bankshot by Antonita Slaughter pushed Louisville's lead back to 11 just under the six minute mark.
A fastbreak layup by Shoni Schimmel put Louisville up 31-18 with just over four minutes left before the half, prompting the large home crowd to stand and applaud.
LSU would get no closer than 11 points the rest of the half as UofL's hot shooting continued. The Cardinals extended their lead to 41-23 with just over a minute left in the half when Shoni Schimmel hit a pair of free throws.
The Cardinals closed the first half up 41-23 led by Shoni Schimmel's 14 points and three three-pointers from Gibbs. After scoring 12 of LSU's first 14 points, guard Danielle Ballard finished with 14 in the first half.
TOUGH SECOND HALF START
Just as they did in the first half, Louisville started the second half on the slide. The Cardinals missed their first three shots, and LSU climbed back into the ballgame 42-29.
THE CLOSING RUN
UofL responded with a 9-2 run to stretch its lead to 51-31 with just over 13 minutes left. The Cardinals were still ahead by 20 points, 55-35, when Tia Gibbs hit a three with 10:27 left.
A layup by Sara Hammond put Louisville up 60-35 with just under nine minutes left, and Louisville coasted to a substantial win. At one point LSU cut the Cardinals lead to 60-40, but the Cardinals hit two threes and a jumper to lead by 28 three possessions later.
Schimmel finished with 19 points and six assists in 30 minutes. Gibbs had 15 points on 5 of 9 shooting from three-point range. Slaughter had 10 points and three assists. Ballard led LSU with 24 points and 10 rebounds.