- Associated Press - Sunday, January 19, 2014

DALLAS (AP) - SMU had the lead at halftime and American Athletic Conference leading scorer Keena Mays had already doubled her point total for the Mustangs from the previous meeting against No. 5 Louisville.

The final outcome was still the same, with the Cardinals using a fast 11-0 run early in the second half to take the lead for good on the way to an 81-66 win over the Mustangs on Sunday.

“I don’t know if it was a lack of focus, a loss of focus, but they came out shooting 3s, came out more aggressive,” Mays said of Louisville’s 79-second game-turning run. “We had to come out with the same energy that we did the first half, and it just didn’t happen that way.”

Mays finished with 20 points for SMU (11-7, 2-5 AAC). She had 14 by halftime after scoring only seven total three weeks earlier, when Louisville won 71-51 at home in the conference opener.

Antonita Slaughter had 17 points with four 3-pointers, two in a game-turning run, and the Cardinals (18-1, 6-0) stretched their winning streak to 11 games.

It was the most extensive action for Slaughter since a blood clot in her lung that led to her collapsing during a game last month. She was then hospitalized for several days and missed six games. In her three previous games since returning, she had been 1-for-10 shooting, missing all five 3-pointers.

“My teammates always have confidence in me. I’ve been on a little streak where I haven’t hit any, but they just keep encouraging me, and I showed them that I could do it,” said Slaughter, who played 25 minutes. “I’m feeling great. … I’m getting there.”

Tia Gibbs had 20 points to lead five players in double-figure scoring for Louisville, which beat SMU for the second time in three weeks - the Cards won the AAC opener at home 71-51 on Dec. 29. Shoni Schimmel had 12 points, while Asia Taylor had 11. Sara Hammond had 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Bria Smith had seven points, eight rebounds and nine assists.

Slaughter started the 11-0 run early after halftime with a 3 off an inbound pass from Schimmel, then Taylor had a steal. That led to a layup by Hammond, who then drew a charge to give the ball back to the Cardinals, and Slaughter made another 3-pointer. Schimmel’s 3-pointer with 17:23 left stretched the lead to 44-37.

“The biggest difference the second time around was Slaughter,” SMU coach Rhonda Rompola said. “She’s been coming back, she hadn’t been scoring much. I told our team, I said we’ve got to pay attention to her, because if she starts hitting 3s and she’s in her groove, then it can be dangerous, and we didn’t close out on her a couple of times.”

Korina Baker had 14 with four 3s for SMU, and Kiara Perry scored 12 points.

SMU led 32-24 when Baker hit a 3-pointer with just over 5½ minutes left in the first half.

Gibbs then scored seven points in a 9-1 run for Louisville, which got even at 33 on her baseline jumper with 1:37 left in the half.

The Mustangs, who trailed 47-32 at the half in the first meeting, regained the lead before halftime on Perry’s putback basket of her own miss. They scored the first basket after halftime before Louisville’s surge.

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