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Fifth-seeded Louisville downs Lady Vols to earn Final Four berth
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Shoni Schimmel scored 24 points and played the entire game to lift the fifth-seeded Louisville Cardinals to an 86-78 victory over the second-seeded Tennessee Lady Volunteers in the Elite 8 round of the 2013 NCAA Women's Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Louisville (28-8) produced another shocking upset after ending Brittney Griner's career with a stunning victory over the top-seeded Baylor Bears in the Sweet 16 as Jude Schimmel chipped in 15 points. Bria Smith scored 13 and grabbed nine rebounds while Monique Reid and Sara Hammond had 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Cardinals will take on the California Golden Bears in the Final Four in New Orleans.
Taber Spani paced Tennessee (27-8) with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor. Meighan Simmons and Kamiko Williams scored 12 points apiece. Bashaara Graves registered a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Vols, who also received 11 points from Isabelle Harrison. Tennessee has now failed to make the Final Four for five years in a row.
Louisville jumped out to an 8-3 lead just over four minutes after tip-off and Hammond hit a 3-point attempt less than a minute later to make it 11-5. The Cardinals took a 41-26 lead into halftime after they hit on 43.6 percent of their field goal tries before the break. Tennessee missed all seven of its attempts from beyond the arc in the first half.
The Lady Vols' fought back in the second stanza as they cut a 19-point deficit to three, at 68-65, with 4:28 left to play. Reid hit a pair of free-throw tries on Louisville's next possession to make it a two-possession game and the Cardinals led by a comfortable margin the rest of the way.
Louisville's win made it the only school with a team in both the Men's and Women's Final Four this season.
04/02 23:43:10 ET
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