SCHIMMEL BREAKS OUT OF SLUMP
Junior Shoni Schimmel still didn’t have her best shooting game on Tuesday against Washington State, but she did break out of her scoring slump.
Schimmel, who had scored just six points in the past 100 minutes of game action and didn’t score for eight minutes against the Cougars, finished with four three-point field goals. She was 4 of 12 and had 12 points and three assists.
”For the most part, I thought she took good shots,” U of L coach Jeff Walz said. “Her last three was too far out. But she has to learn where she is on the floor and be better aware of the good shots and the bad ones.
”But it was nice to see the ball go in for her. She played a good floor game.”
Schimmel is now second on the team in scoring at 11.4 a game, just behind Sara Hammond (11.8) and is hitting just 37.5 percent from the field.
“It just felt good to get shots up,” Schimmel said. “It’s been difficult for me the past couple of games. My confidence is still there, I just need a few to fall.”
HOLIDAY BREAK FOR CARDINALS
Walz said he would give the team a few days off after the Wagner game for the Christmas holidays with most of the players heading home.
The Cardinals don’t play again until hosting Tennessee State at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve at the KFC Yum! Center.
U of L will begin Big East Conference play on Jan. 5 at DePaul.
MAKING LAY UPS AND FREE THROWS
One of the main problems the Cardinals have faced this season has been turnovers. But Walz said he’s worried about two other aspects of the game.
”We have to figure out a way to make layups and free throws,” he said. “There’s not much I can teach them with that, I mean it’s a layup.”
The Cardinals are hitting just 66.2 percent from the free-throw line as a team, while he said there has been several missed layups each game.
Sophomore guard Bria Smith missed a wide-open layup against Washington State after she blocked a shot on the defensive end.
”It’s concentration,” Walz said, shaking his head.
SMITH HAS A BIG GAME FOR CARDS
Sophomore Bria Smith did have one of her best career outings against Washington State on Tuesday.
The sophomore from New York had 13 points, six assists, four rebounds, and three steals in the blowout win over the Cougars.
”It was by far the best game she has played, possibly since she has been here,” Walz said. “Her energy was high and she defended great. She got us going when she went into the game. I know she can do that every night.
”We just have to keep her going that way. She’s practiced hard and really practiced well the past few days.”
Smith is averaging 7.0 points and 3.1 rebounds, while she’s third on the team in assists (25), second in blocks (9) and second in steals (18).
Tia Gibbs UPDATE
Walz didn’t sound too optimistic about the return of junior guard Tia Gibbs, who was an expected starter for the Cardinals.
Gibbs missed all but the first game of last season because of shoulder surgery and then had a hip injury that now has her sidelined. She hasn’t played in a game this season and isn’t released to practice.
”She is fighting through everything,” Walz said. “If she can play, she will. Right now am I counting on her in the lineup, ‘No.’
“If there’s a way she can get back then she will. But if putting her out on the floor put her in harms way at all I won’t do it.”