- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville missed free throws, turned the ball over and struggled to find a rhythm.

The No. 4 Cardinals won in spite of all that but also seemed eager to start working toward proving that they’re better than what they showed Wednesday night against Temple.

One player especially determined to move on was senior guard Shoni Schimmel, whose 21 points helped Louisville hold off Temple 60-50.

Though Louisville (24-2, 12-1 American Athletic Conference) bounced back from a loss Sunday to No. 1 Connecticut, sloppy play throughout resulted in its lowest scoring total this season. The Cardinals shot 40 percent from the field (22 of 55), made just 12 of 26 free throws and committed 11 turnovers, a combination that left the door open for Temple up to the final minute.

The Cardinals survived only because their performance was markedly better than the Owls (12-12, 6-7), who couldn’t take advantage because of their own ragged play featuring 17 turnovers, 1-of-9 free throw shooting and 38 percent shooting from the field.

“We got lucky with this one because we missed so many free throws,” said Schimmel, who went 6 of 10 from the line including two with 19 seconds left to seal the game. “We were just talking about, how do you miss free throws? It was just weird for us. We thought they were going in but they just didn’t.

“Coach (Jeff) Walz told us we were lucky for pulling this one out, because against a good team we’re going to lose because we don’t make free throws. Hopefully, we’ll get in the gym and make free throws.”

Asia Taylor had 14 points and 12 rebounds while Antonita Slaughter added 12 points as Louisville swept the season series.

Tyonna Williams’ 12 points and Erica Covile’s 10 rebounds led Temple, which had won its previous two games. The Owls’ consolations were outrebounding Louisville 41-40 and outscoring its bench 18-6, but they just couldn’t get needed baskets down the stretch and continually blew chances at the foul line that could’ve made it closer.

“When you’re playing a team like Louisville and have opportunities and don’t capitalize, it’s disheartening,” Temple coach Tonya Cardoza said. “We had a lot of easy opportunities that missed.”

The Owls missed their first three from the line before Shi-Heria Shipp made one of two to bring them to 46-41 with 6:43 left, only to suffer more frustration after that.

Not that Walz was feeling much better about his team’s effort at the line - or other areas, for that matter.

“It was definitely not a game you want to bring your son or daughter to and say, ‘Watch how they shoot free throws. This is what you want to do,’” he said. “I hope no one had the intention of doing that when they came to the game tonight.”

Louisville did manage to achieve its goal of getting back on track after the top-ranked Huskies halted its 16-game winning streak Sunday. Helping the Cardinals’ motivation was facing a Temple squad that played them hard in a nine-point win last month and was looking to go over .500 in league play.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the lack of execution that doomed them against UConn haunted them at times against the Owls, who led 12-11 midway through the first half and only trailed 27-19 at the break despite 9-of-30 shooting (30 percent).

Louisville was able to get baskets when it needed them, particularly coming out of the break. Schimmel’s long-range jumper and another Taylor basket even gave Louisville its biggest lead at 32-19, but Temple kept fighting back and was only a few possessions away thanks to Williams, whose clock-beating jumper brought the Owls to 46-40 with 8:41 left before Shipp’s free throw made it a five-point game a couple of minutes later.

That was the closest they got in a game that left the Cardinals more relieved than elated.

Said Taylor, “I think we did a good job of not just folding.”



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