Cards rally to down Rutgers, now 21-1

Cards rally to down Rutgers, now 21-1

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Shoni Schimmel scored 24 points, Asia Taylor added 19 and No. 5 Louisville beat Rutgers 80-71 to win a 14th straight game and 21st in 22 games this season on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals (21-1, 9-0 American Athletic Conference) extended their winning streak to 14 games. While most of the victories during the streak were by double-digits, Louisville had to rally for this win.

Louisville trailed 48-42 5 minutes into the second half before Schimmel and Sara Hammond took over. Schimmel's 3-pointer started a 22-9 run over the next 8 minutes. Hammond followed with eight straight points, hitting a 3-pointer from the wing and then a three-point play. Bria Smith's three-point play with 9:21 left in the game gave the Cardinals their first lead of the second half.

Schimmel's 3-pointer from the corner made it 64-57.

Rutgers (15-5, 6-3) closed to 66-63 on Tyler Scaife's jumper with 4:53 left, but could get no closer.

Scaife, a freshman guard, led the Scarlet Knights with a season-high 25 points. She had set her previous best of 22 against top-ranked Connecticut.

Rutgers was looking for its first victory over a top-five team since beating No. 1 UConn on Feb. 5, 2008. The Scarlet Knights have lost their last 20 games against top-five teams.

Schimmel had been on a roll from long range, making 16 of her last 23 3-pointers coming into the night - including a school-record nine in a win over Memphis on Sunday. But she didn't have a great shooting game against the Scarlet Knights, going 4 for 13 from behind the arc.

Louisville jumped to a quick lead behind its senior guard, who scored the team's first eight points. Her 3-pointer with 11:23 left in the first half made it 21-15. Then Scaife rallied the Scarlet Knights, scoring nine straight to bring Rutgers to 25-24 with 8 minutes left.

Alexis Burke's layup with 2:59 left in the half gave the Scarlet Knights their first lead since the opening basket of the game. They led 38-36 at the half.

Rutgers extended the advantage to 48-42 early in the second half before Louisville rallied.

The teams play again in Kentucky in late February. Both schools will be leaving the conference after this season with the Cardinals headed to the ACC while the Scarlet Knights are off to the Big Ten.

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