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No. 3 Louisville women cruise past Houston, 81-62

Wednesday - 2/19/2014, 10:44pm  ET

Louisville's Sara Hammond, center, puts up a shot over the defense of Houston's Jessieka Palmer, left, and Te'onna Campbell during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- In a season of milestones, Shoni Schimmel added another to her list in No. 3 Louisville's latest win.

Schimmel, second on the school's all-time scoring list behind Angel McCoughtry, had 15 points to top 2,000 for her career in the Cardinals' 81-62 victory over Houston on Wednesday night.

Sara Hammond scored 17 points to help Louisville (26-2, 14-1 American Athletic Conference) improve to 16-0 at home, moving one away from matching the school record for home wins set in 2006-07.

The 2,000-point mark is just one of many accomplishments for Schimmel this season. She set a school record for 3-pointers made with nine against Memphis on Jan. 26 and is the program's career leader in 3s (361). Schimmel also became the fourth player in program history to have 1,000 career points and 500 or more assists.

The senior guard, a candidate for the Naismith Trophy, takes it all in stride.

"It's a great honor, just to be up there with Angel McCoughtry," Schimmel said. "It's an accomplishment and being a basketball player, it's something special to me."

Hammond, a junior, said one of the keys to Schimmel's success is her versatility.

"The way she passes the ball, the way she shoots the ball, she can do it all," Hammond said. "If she's having maybe a bad shooting night, she can still affect the game the way she passes the ball and draws defenses to her."

Although she had an off night at the 3-point line -- shooting 1 for 4 -- Schimmel notched a team-high eight rebounds and was 4 of 5 from the free-throw line.

"She comes to the gym every day, she loves to play the game and I think that's what separates your top tier players," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "They love to play every day. If Shoni could stay in the gym all day long, I think she would."

Marche Amerson scored 23 points and Jessieka Palmer added 16 for Houston (5-21, 1-14).

Louisville led 13-3 early, but the Cougars rallied behind Palmer, who had eight points in a 3-minute span. Amerson's two free throws cut the deficit to 17-15 and Houston kept it close until the Cardinals closed the half with an 11-3 run to take a 38-27 lead at halftime.

Louisville maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half and improved to 6-0 at home against the Cougars.

Houston's efforts to mount a late comeback were hampered when three players -- Palmer, Destini Texada and Yasmeen Thompson -- fouled out in the second half.

Both teams were ineffective beyond the arc. Houston shot 29 percent on 3s and Louisville made 18 percent, well below its average of 35 percent.

"We knew Louisville was No. 3 in the nation, so we came out and gave it all we got," Palmer said. "We played with them until towards the end, and a lot of us got in foul trouble. All the momentum shifted and we weren't able to get it back after that."

Freshman Emmonnie Henderson continues to be a force in the paint for Louisville. She followed up a 19-point performance in Sunday's win over Memphis with 12 points.

Louisville's next test will be a key conference game against Rutgers at home on Sunday.

"They have great jump-shooters," Hammond said. "They're not just a team that drives. There's not just one thing that they specifically do."


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