Antonita Slaughter collapses, is hospitalized as Louisville wins

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville's Antonita Slaughter collapsed and was taken to a hospital by ambulance during the Cardinals' 91-49 victory over Missouri State on Tuesday night.

A Louisville spokesman said Slaughter was awake and alert. She was still undergoing tests at the hospital as of Wednesday afternoon.

Shoni Schimmel scored 14 points, Bria Smith added 12 and the seventh-ranked Cardinals (8-1) cruised to the win.

Leading by 25 points after seeing Slaughter taken off the court on a stretcher, Louisville was relieved to get some good news at halftime.

"Coach (Jeff) Walz told us at halftime that she was doing good, that she was conscious," Schimmel said.

Smith added: "It's tough to see anybody get carried off the court on (a) stretcher. Definitely, to see Antonita in that position is hard for all of us because we're like sisters."

Louisville was leading 7-2 with 17:13 to play in the first half when Slaughter, who had started the game and scored the first basket, went to the bench and suddenly collapsed. Walz and his staff rushed to her aid, and EMS was immediately called to the bench.

Walz said he was getting ready to put Slaughter back in the game when his staff alerted him.

"I turned around and I saw her," he said. "She was definitely struggling right there, was kind of out of it. We weren't sure what was going on, so we got her on the floor. The medical staff was there within seconds."

Missouri State assistant coach Jon Harper saw Slaughter collapse.

"That's a tough sight for anyone to see," said Harper, who is leading the Tigers in place of wife and head coach Kellie Harper while she recovers after giving birth to their son Nov. 25. "It happened right in front of us. Hopefully she's going to be all right. She'll be in our thoughts and prayers."

Walz said he didn't have any information on what caused Slaughter to collapse.

"She's coherent, she's responding to questions and talking with her family," he said. "We're not sure and they're not sure what took place yet. I would say by tomorrow morning we should know more."

He told the Louisville Courier-Journal that she seemed to be having "almost convulsions."

The Cardinals gathered around Walz during the seven to eight minutes while Slaughter was taken from the court, and he encouraged the Cards to play hard for her, the Courier-Journal reported.

"I said, 'Hey, we're going to play a basketball game. It doesn't matter if you want to play or not. They're going to play the game. So let's go out there and compete and do it the way Antonita would want you to,'" Walz said, according to the newspaper. "I thought they really responded. I don't think people really understand what it took from this group of young ladies to go out there and continue to play like they did because they're super-close."

Louisville regrouped after Slaughter collapsed and went on a 15-4 run that included three 3s from Schimmel to boost its lead to 24-8. The Cardinals continued to bolster their double-digit lead from there.

Asia Taylor added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Cardinals.

Kenzie Williams scored 13 points and Tyonna Snow added 12 to lead Missouri State (1-5), which lost its fourth straight.

Louisville -- ranked 10th in the country at 48 percent shooting from the field -- finished at 56 percent against the Bears, including 36 percent on 3s, and finished with 24 assists.

Cardinals freshman forward Emmonnie Henderson scored 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting and grabbed four rebounds in 13 minutes of play.

"She's understanding the game of basketball," Schimmel said. "The more she plays, the more opportunity for her to understand and learn. ... She's definitely grown up through the past few games that she's been in."

The Cardinals rebounded from Sunday's 69-64 loss to in-state rival Kentucky, which dropped them from No. 4 to seventh in the Associated Press poll.

"Definitely the value of the ball," Smith said when asked what the teamed learned from the loss. "That was the key thing we took from that game. Also, that we can't take our foot off the gas pedal."

Missouri State committed 24 turnovers, compared to 12 for Louisville.

Walz was happy with his team's low number of turnovers -- well less than its average of 20 and half its total against Kentucky.

"I made them run yesterday," he said. "I didn't make them run for the turnovers against Kentucky, I just said this is what we're going to do: Every time we turn the ball over in practice, we'll run. I don't think our kids realized how much we turned it over in practice until they had to start running for each one."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.