IOWA CITY — Iowa did a lot of good things this season — and the future looks promising for the Hawkeyes.
But a 30-point home loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament will put a damper on the women’s basketball program’s outlook heading into the offseason.
Shoni Schimmel had 26 points, seven assists and five steals to help Louisville thump host aIowa 83-53 on Tuesday night to earn a fifth trip to the Sweet Sixteen under coach Jeff Walz.
Antonita Slaughter added 17 points on five 3s for the third-seeded Cardinals (32-4), who advanced to Sunday’s regional semifinal at home against No. 7 seed LSU.
“They came out and played very well, especially defensively. They made us struggle offensively,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “They only scored four points over their average, but it was their defense that took us out of our game.”
Louisville jumped to a 17-point halftime lead and stretched its edge to 47-23 just 90 seconds into the second half. The Cardinals shot 53 percent, forced 19 turnovers and led by as many as 38 points.
Freshman Ally Disterhoft scored 15 points for Iowa (27-9), which finished just 1-of-16 from 3-point range. Samantha Logic had 12 points for Iowa, but she also turned it over nine times.
“We knew they were going to have pressure. We knew they were going to have some traps, different defenses. It wasn’t anything we weren’t expecting. We just really didn’t execute,” Logic said.
From the opening tip, Louisville looked determined to prove it should be talked about more for its national title chances than its seemingly low seed.
The Cardinals showed in the opening minutes of the second half why they’re such a legitimate threat to make it to Nashville, quickly extinguishing Iowa’s hopes for a comeback.
Schimmel hit a 3 and a layup to push the lead to 24, then confidently drilled a step-back 3 to give Louisville a 52-25 lead.