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No. 3 Louisville women cruise to win over Houston

Louisville's Sara Hammond, right, shoots over Houston's Tyler Gilbert during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference women's tournament, Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Shoni Schimmel scored 15 points and Antonita Slaughter added 14 to lead third-ranked Louisville to an easy 88-43 win over Houston on Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference.

Sara Hammond added 11 points — all in the first 8 minutes — for the Cardinals (29-3).

Louisville jumped all over the Cougars, racing out to a 26-4 lead. Schimmel got the Cardinals on the board hitting a 3-pointer, the 99th of the season for the senior which set a new school record. Schimmel broke Sara Nord's mark.

Schimmel's layup made it 30-6 midway through the first half. Houston (6-25) didn't string together consecutive baskets until nearly 14 minutes were gone in the game. Marche' Amerson's jumper made it 30-10 with 5:42 left.

Louisville led 46-19 at the half and never looked back.

It only got worse for the Cougars. The Cardinals had a five-point play early in the second half. Slaughter hit a 3-pointer and on the play Destini Texada was called for a technical foul for throwing down a Louisville player. Schimmel hit the two free throws that made it 53-23.

Louisville extended its advantage to as many as 48 as every Cardinals player that got into the game scored. Coach Jeff Walz was able to rest his starters for most of the second half.

Second-seeded Louisville will play the winner of South Florida and Temple in the semifinals on Sunday.

Jessieka Palmer scored 13 to lead the Cougars, who ended a rough season. Houston coach Wade Scott took over in late December as an interim after former coach Todd Buchanan resigned for personal reasons.

Houston had advanced to the quarterfinals with a 73-67 upset of Memphis in the opening round on Friday night.

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Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

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