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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, February 17, 2013 5:13 pm

No. 10 Louisville women rout DePaul 81-55

The Associated Press

Bria Smith scored a career-high 21 points and Sara Hammond had 17 points and 13 rebounds to help No. 10 Louisville rout DePaul 81-55 on Sunday.

Smith, who scored 14 in the first half, was 13 of 15 from the free throw line and added seven rebounds. She scored 18 in Louisville's last outing, a 93-64 loss to No. 2 Notre Dame that snapped a six-game winning streak.

It was the fifth double-double for Hammond this season.

The Cardinals (21-5, 9-3 Big East) held DePaul to season-low 25 percent shooting (16 of 65) and dominated inside with a 50-10 advantage on points in the paint.

Chanise Jenkins led the Blue Demons (18-8, 7-5) with 16 points before fouling out with 5:11 remaining. Megan Podkowa had 14 points off the bench.

Louisville's win avenged an 86-80 Jan. 5 loss at DePaul earlier this season.

The Cardinals held DePaul to just 19 percent shooting in first 20 minutes (6 of 32) but could only muster a 29-23 lead at halftime.

But Louisville came out hot in the second half as Shoni Schimmel sank a three to start the half. Schimmel later helped stretch the lead to 39-26 when she set up Antonita Slaughter's layup with 17:52 remaining with a no-look pass.

Podkowa's jumper in the lane off an out-of-bounds play cut the Louisville lead to 50-38 with 13:52 left but DePaul would draw no closer.

Hammond's layup and free throw off an inbound capped an 8-0 run that put Louisville up 20 with 9:45 to play. The Cardinals pushed the lead to 77-47 with 2:14 left.

DePaul missed its first nine 3-pointers and started 3 of 23 from the field before Jenkins' triple with 4:42 left in the first half cut the Louisville lead to 23-14. It would be the only 3-pointer for Blue Demons in 14 first-half attempts. They finished 4 of 29 (14 percent) on shots from behind the arc.

The Blue Demons stayed close before the break with nine second-chance points and by holding Louisville to just six points in the final 7:36 of the half. But a Hammond layup to finish the opening half and Schimmel's three to start the final 20 minutes provided the spark Louisville needed for a second-half blowout.

DePaul's Katherine Harry, the Big East's leader with 10.7 rebounds a contest, had eight points and 13 rebounds but was scoreless in the second half.

Louisville senior Monique Reid made her first appearance since Jan. 27, returning from a bone bruise on her left knee. Reid, who scored 25 in the Jan. 5 loss at DePaul, had eight points and eight rebounds in 15 minutes. She exited after coming down awkwardly following a scoring baseline drive with 12:23 left. Louisville coach Jeff Walz said she could have returned but chose to leave her on the bench with a comfortable lead.

DePaul was again without leading scorer Anna Martin, who missed her seventh game after injuring her left knee against Providence on Jan. 19. Martin scored 22 in the Blue Demons' win over the Cardinals on Jan. 5.