- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - Houston was able to keep it close for a half against Louisville before the Cardinals took over.

Shoni Schimmel had 25 points and eight rebounds as the Cardinals pulled away in the second half for a 93-52 win over the Cougars on Tuesday night to extend the Cardinals’ win streak to 12 games.

Yasmeen Thompson had 10 points and eight rebounds, and Marche’ Amerson and Demetria Foreman each added 10 points for the Cougars (4-14, 0-7), who shot 30 percent from the field and committed 25 turnovers in losing its seventh straight.

Houston hit one of 10 from behind the arc in the second half after hitting five of 10 3-pointers in the first half.

“The first half I thought the intensity was there, we were hitting our shots,” Houston interim coach Wade Scott. “As the game wore down, when you miss those easy ones everyone’s confidence gets down just a little bit. Everyone presses to get that next score. The girls gave their effort, they did what we asked them to do, so you just have to tip your hat to the other guy.”

Schimmel was 9 of 14 shooting, including 7 of 11 from behind the 3-point line as the Cardinals (19-1, 7-0 American) shot 54 percent from the field, including hitting 11 of 21 from behind the arc.

“I think any time they can score like that it does tend to drop you a little bit, but the other thing it does is it makes your defense stretch out,” Scott said. “You have to over help to get out there and when someone goes by, you’re leaving someone else wide open.”

Asia Taylor added 16 points, Bria Smith had 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and Emmonnie Henderson chipped in 14 points.

The Cardinals outscored Houston 55-23 in the second half.

“The first we came out with a lot of intensity and confidence and like coach says some of those turnovers and easy layups that we missed kind of knocked our confidence down and we started going to one on one play which doesn’t help,” Amerson said. “We kind of have to stick together and that is what we didn’t do in the second half it was a big difference from the first so we just have to work on staying together for a full 40 minutes.”

Louisville tied the best start in conference play at 7-0, which they set during the 1996-97 season.

Louisville pushed its halftime lead to 12 to start the second half, but Houston closed to 41-33 on Foreman’s jumper two minutes in.

That would be as close as the Cougars got the rest of the way as Louisville used a 14-2 run over the next five minutes to up the lead to 19 on Schimmel’s 3-pointer.

Amerson said Houston beat itself in the second half.

“A lot of people may not see it that way, but we are a good team and if we can get those small things down and learn to stay together throughout the whole entire game we have a chance to shock a lot of people,” Amerson said. “So I don’t really think it was anything that they did differently in the second half. It is just that we have to learn to play for a full game.”

After Houston jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a 3-pointer by Foreman, Louisville responded with a 13-0 run over the next 4:44, capped by a Schimmel 3-pointer with 13:04 remaining. Schimmel had six and Taylor had four in the run.

Louisville pushed its lead to 30-16 with 5:20 left in the first half on a free throw by Henderson to cap a 7-0 run, but the Cougars answered with an 11-2 run to cut the lead to five on a 3-pointer by Marissa Ashton with three minutes left in the half.

The Cardinals led 38-29 at the half.

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