The UConn women’s basketball team remains undefeated after 26 games, having been seriously challenged in one of those games — an 11-point win at Baylor in January.
Other than Duke, no other team had come within 22 points of UConn until Sunday. The University of Louisville women managed to hang within 17 points in an 81-64 loss on UConn’s home court.
Almost respectable but no hints of a moral victory for the UofL women,who saw their 16-game winning streak come to an end and experienced only their second loss in 25 games. UConn was missing shots early, but the Louisville women were unable to hit their own, making mistakes and turnovers, UConn making them pay time after time in the second half.
If they were ever going to pose a serious challenge at UConn, it would have been with a veteran lineup that included four seniors and a junior.
Shoni Schimmel taking what the UConn defense allowed in the first half, which wasn’t much. Getting frustrated in the final 20 minutes, hoping those over-the-shoulder shots go in, few of them getting close. She had nine points, including one three-pointer.
Asia Taylor probably playing her best game as a Cardinal, but she was still turning the ball over six times. Unveiling a new shooting acumen, she would connect of seven of 14 shots for 18 points. She would also collect eight rebounds, make three blocks, two steals and three assists.
With all the attention Shoni was getting, Sara Hammond was finding herself open often. Unfortunately, would make only four of 10 shots, winding up with 11 points and six rebounds.
The positive aspect may have been that Cardinals never lost their composure in this game, contrary to many previous efforts against the Huskies. If they had been shooting anywhere close to their shooting average of 46.9%, the Huskies may have been vulnerable. Sunday they hit only 24 of 65 attempts, a 36.9% shooting percentage.
This may have been second best chance Louisville will have this season to beat UConn in an effort to end an 14-game losing streak that dates back to the early nineties. The best opportunity will be when they meet again in the last game of the regular season at the KFC Yum! Center on March. 3.
UConn had better bring its A game.