LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Shoni Schimmel scored 13 points and No. 4 Louisville made Jeff Walz the program’s winningest coach in cruising past Ohio 90-33 on Thursday night.
Four days after an overtime victory at Oklahoma to win the preseason WNIT, the Cardinals (5-0) picked up where they left off to dominate Ohio in every category. Besides shooting 34 of 56 from the field to finish a season-best 61 percent, Louisville outscored the Bobcats 46-14 inside and outrebounded them 54-25.
Ohio (2-1) never got going offensively, hitting just 7 of 29 in the first half — including missing its first 14 from 3-point range. The Bobcats hit just 2 of 25 from beyond the arc and 10 of 53 overall (19 percent).
Bria Smith added 12 points, reserve forward Shawnta’ Dyer 15 and Megan Deines 11 as every Cardinal who played scored.
Cortnee Walton added 10 rebounds and six points for the Cardinals, who had 22 assists.
Quiera Lampkins’ 13 points led the Bobcats.
Ohio starting forward Lexie Baldwin, who entered as the team’s second-leading scorer (14.5 points per game) scored just three points before fouling out with 9:34 left in the game. She shot 1 for 4 in 15 minutes of play. Reserve and leading scorer Kiyanna Black (21.5 points) had just four points in 24 minutes.
It was that easy as Walz improved to 153-65 as the Cardinals’ coach and was presented with a game ball marking his milestone.
The Cardinals came in on a huge roll after Sunday’s WNIT title victory over then-No. 11 Oklahoma in which they rallied from a 15-point deficit to force overtime before putting away the Sooners. Louisville reached the final by routing then-No. 14 LSU a week ago with a huge second-half run.
They faced a Bobcats squad coming off a 64-56 OT win at Morehead State last Saturday to achieve their first 2-0 start since 2006-07 and give first-year coach Bob Bolden his 100th career victory.
Louisville needed just 5½ minutes to build a 14-2 lead and sow the seeds for a thorough blowout that involved everybody but Sunday’s hero Tia Gibbs, who sat out the game after playing 34 minutes and scoring 23 points against the Sooners.
As Ohio struggled through a cold-shooting half, including 1 of 15 from 3-point range, Louisville didn’t miss a beat. Besides exploiting their size advantage in the low post, Smith’s 10 points from several spots symbolized the Cardinal guards’ ease in penetrating and spotting up for jumpers en route to a 53-percent shooting half.
Louisville tried a variety of defenses and contested shots but mostly just had to wait for defensive rebounds as Ohio misfired from all over the floor. A 2-of-11 start left the Bobcats in a 29-6 hole midway through the half and they made just five of the next 18.
The Bobcats kept firing, though, and Mariah Bayard finally broke through from long range with 3 seconds left to make it 43-17 at the break.
Louisville opened the second half just as strong with a 17-2 run including Shoni Schimmel’s three 3-pointers and another from sister Jude, who finished with seven points.