4:00 PM ET, January 1, 2014
McGonigle Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
PHILADELPHIA -- Louisville coach Jeff Walz has a simple recipe for success -- take care of the basketball.
Fortunately for Walz, his team has enough talent to win a lot of games even when it struggles with turnovers.
Asia Taylor scored 18 points and Shoni Schimmel added 15 to help No. 7 Louisville beat Temple 77-68 on Wednesday for its seventh straight victory.
In the previous six wins, Louisville averaged 12 turnovers. The Cardinals reached that total in the first 16 minutes against the Owls.
"That's really our Achilles' heel," Walz said. "When we turn the basketball over we're a pretty good team still. We're not as good a team as we can be."
Both teams struggled with turnovers at the start of the game, but Temple wasn't really able to convert Louisville's miscues into points.
The Cardinals led 19-17 with just under 5 minutes left in the half before Schimmel took over. She had six straight points to help the Cardinals close with a 12-4 run for a 31-21 lead at the break.
It only got worse from there for the Owls.
The Cardinals (14-1, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) scored the first nine points of the second half. Schimmel had 10 points and Taylor six during Louisville's 21-4 run that spanned halftime and made it 40-21 with 18:02 left.
Temple (7-5, 1-1) got within 77-68 with 16 seconds to go, but that's as close as the Owls could get.
"They were the better team," Temple coach Tonya Cardoza said. "We turned the basketball over and let them get offensive rebounds. When you're playing against the seventh ranked team you can't have mistakes like that. You can't make careless mistakes."
While Louisville finished with 20 turnovers, most resulted in deadball situations that Temple couldn't use to its advantage. The Cardinals converted the 25 miscues by Temple into 27 points.
"Their turnovers didn't lead to transition buckets while ours did," Cardoza said.
This was the first meeting between the schools. They'll play again in the middle of February down in Louisville. That might be Temple's only chance to knock off last season's national runner-up; Louisville heads to the Atlantic Coast Conference next season after one year in the American.
"Getting to play new people is exciting," Schimmel said. "It's different than playing in the Big East. You look at the floor and it's like we're playing Temple. It's our league for this year."
Taylor took it a step further, saying how she misses her old conference.
"I loved being in the Big East," she said. "You knew every night that it was going to be a close game. You didn't need a scouting report as you know who the stars are."
Both players won't have to worry about the move to the ACC next year, since they will have exhausted their eligibility.
Temple was looking for its first victory over a ranked team since 2009. The Owls defeated No. 13 Xavier that season.
Natasha Thames scored 24 points to match her career high while Erica Covile added 14 points for Temple.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||27-58 (.466)||25-54 (.463)|
|3P Made-Attempted||2-8 (.250)||5-15 (.333)|
|FT Made-Attempted||21-32 (.656)||13-19 (.684)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||27 (0/0)|