Louisville upsets No. 8 Kentucky, 78-52
Dec. 5, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -Louisville freshman Shoni Schimmel grew up in Oregon, far away from the madness that is the rivalry between the Cardinals and Kentucky.
Listening to her new teammates, she quickly realized they were still smarting from a 34-point whipping at the hands of the Wildcats a year ago.
"Everybody kind of made it a big deal, I'm thinking maybe it is kind of a big deal," the guard said. "I understood what happened last year. We weren't going to let it happen again."
Schimmel responded with 26 points, Becky Burke had 21 and the Cardinals routed the eighth-ranked Wildcats 78-52 on Sunday in front of the largest crowd to watch a women's game this year.
Schimmel, who also had six assists, and Burke hit 12 of 21 3-pointers to send Kentucky to its worst loss since 2008.
"We said we were going to have a shootout to see who finished with more (3-pointers) but we tied at six to six," Burke said with a laugh.
The Cardinals (6-3) were just as good at the other end of the floor. They held the Wildcats (5-1) to 28-percent shooting while limiting them to their lowest point total in nearly a year, exacting some revenge for last season's embarrassing loss in Lexington.
Kentucky won that game 101-67 by forcing the Cardinals - eight months removed from an appearance in the national championship game - into a school-record 38 turnovers. It's a painful memory that has stuck with Burke and she relished the chance to return the favor.
"It feels really good," Burke said. "They didn't let up a year ago and we didn't let up today."
Reigning Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Victoria Dunlap led Kentucky with 17 points and a career-high 23 rebounds before leaving with a minor knee injury late in the second half. Maegan Conwright added 13 points but the Wildcats turned it over a season-high 22 times and couldn't match the long-range shooting of Schimmel and Burke.
Kentucky made just three of 18 3-pointers and would get no closer than 10 points in the second half as its pressure defense struggled to stay in front of the Cardinals. Louisville turned it over 21 times but was never in any real danger after taking control with an 11-0 first-half run.
"It's the worst day we've had trapping and rotating since we've implemented this (defensive) style," Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said. "If you don't hustle you can look silly doing it. Today was a bad day to look silly but we did."
The Cardinals never trailed and led by as much as 19 in the first half behind Schimmel, who hit her first three 3-point attempts.
Kentucky, however, closed to 55-45 on a layup by Dunlap with 9:22 remaining, momentarily quieting the crowd of 22,158 at Louisville's new downtown arena.
The only ones not concerned were the Cardinals. Schimmel hit a deep stepback 3-pointer to kickstart a clinching 13-3 burst. Burke and Schimmel both knocked down a pair of 3s during the run, with Burke's sixth 3-pointer of the game giving Louisville a 68-48 lead with 6:10 to play.
"It hurts a lot," Dunlap said. "We are a team that plays defense, is supposed to play defense, is supposed to hustle, supposed to do the little things."
The Wildcats didn't do it against the Cardinals, a scenario Mitchell says he saw coming in the days leading up to the game.
"We are not good enough to be able to just show up and beat anyone much less on the road in a hostile environment in a rivalry game that means so much," he said.
Mitchell will try to use the game as a wake-up call for his team, which has been breathing rarified air in the top 10. He knows the ranking will fall when the latest poll comes out Monday.
"We just did not get pressure on the basketball," he said. "Things we normally do, we didn't do."