The Louisville women’s basketball team hopes to cap off a historic week for the University of Louisville athletic program with a win over rival Kentucky. The #6/7 ranked Cardinals will host #8/9 Kentucky at the KFC Yum Center at 6 pm tomorrow. The game will be televised on ESPNU and also featured as part of NellOnWheels, a traveling College Game Day for women’s basketball.
The Cardinals are 8-0 and have been impressive early. Louisville has used defense and a balanced scoring attack to roll through the early part of their schedule with an average margin of victory of 23.9 points. Junior Shoni Schimmel leads the Cards, averaging 13.3 points per game. Sophomore Sara Hammond is second in scoring with 10.9 points. Louisville’s opponents are averaging 50.8 points per game and 21.6 turnovers.
Louisville head coach Jeff Walz knows the importance of this game for both programs.
"It's a big game. We'll have two top 10 teams here playing and I don't know the last that has happened in women's basketball here in the state. It's an opportunity for a great basketball game and I hope that we can pack this place. Both teams are playing well right now. It's going to come down to which team can take care of the basketball and who's going to execute."
The Cats are 5-1 on the season, with their lone loss coming to then ranked #1 Baylor. Kentucky is led by senior guard A’dia Mathies, who is averaging 14.5 points per game.
"They are very smart,” Mathies commented when asked about Louisville. “They play different defenses and make you think too much and when you think too much you usually make mistakes and turnovers."
"Tough game ahead here against the University of Louisville," UK head coach Matthew Mitchell said. "They have an outstanding basketball team this season and we are looking forward to having a chance to go see how we stack up and how much progress we have made over the past couple of weeks. It ought to be a good game and tough matchup for us and we will have to work hard to earn a victory at Louisville."
Tomorrow’s game marks the 49th meeting between the two schools but will be the first time both schools are ranked in the top 10. Kentucky leads the overall series 30-18 and won last year’s game in Lexington 74-54.