IOWA CITY, Ia. Louisville’s headed home, sweet home.
The third-seeded Cardinals (32-4) ended Iowa’s postseason run Tuesday in an 83-53 win in an NCAA women’s basketball second-round game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The victory sends Louisville, last year’s national runner-up, back home to host a regional semifinal Sunday.
All-American guard Shoni Schimmel poured in 26 points, and her team’s ferocious defense held sixth-seeded Iowa (27-9) to a season-low scoring output and 1-for-16 3-point shooting.
“It was their defense that took us out of our game,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said.
Freshman Ally Disterhoft led Iowa with 15 points. Samantha Logic scored 12.
Louisville averaged 79.1 points a game heading in to Tuesday’s contest.
The team found Carver-Hawkeye a comfortable place to play, having beaten Idaho 88-42 in a first-round game Sunday.
The Cardinals shut down Iowa’s offense, which had averaged 78.9 points. The Hawkeyes were held well below their previous low score of 64 against Minnesota on Jan. 29 – a game Iowa won.
Five Louisville players scored in double figures. Antonita Slaughter had 17. Jude Schimmel, Tia Gibbs and Asia Taylor all added 10.
“I think this was a great game for us,” Shoni Schimmel said. “For us to come together at the right time, for us to peak, especially in the NCAA tournament. Hopefully it only goes up from here.”
Iowa committed 19 turnovers.
“We knew they were going to have pressure,” Logic said. “We really didn’t execute. We just got out of our offense.”
Iowa entered the game having won seven of its past eight contests, including an 87-65 first-round win over Marist.
Three of Louisville’s losses this season are to No. 1-ranked and unbeaten UConn.
Iowa finished the season with 27 wins, the most under Bluder. That equals the second-highest total in school history.
Disterhoft scored 474 points this season. That’s second on the Iowa all-time list for freshmen. Jaime Printy had 501 in 2009-10.
“We had an extra special group this season,” Disterhoft said. “We love each other. We’re a family.”
The Hawkeyes will graduate one senior, guard Theairra Taylor. She averaged 12 points a game this season. Taylor finished with 10 points.
“It’s a great group of girls in that locker room,” Taylor said. “Just building those relationships that last longer than those basketball memories, that’s what I’ll remember most.”
Ten Hawkeyes return for next season, including starters Logic, Melissa Dixon, Bethany Doolittle and Disterhoft. All four of them averaged 12 or more points a game.
Louisville sank 16 of 25 field-goal attempts in the first half while taking a 40-23 lead.
Shoni Schimmel scored 12 points to lead the Cardinals in the opening 20 minutes. Slaughter had eight points, including two 3-pointers.
Iowa’s Disterhoft scored 10 first-half points.
The Hawkeyes made nine of 29 field-goal tries and missed all eight 3-point attempts.
The teams were tied 11-all midway through the first half before Louisville went on a 12-1 run.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball