HOUSTON -- Louisville continued its string of slow starts before waking up in a big way in the second half.
Shoni Schimmel had 25 points and eight rebounds as No. 5 Louisville pulled away in the second half for a 93-52 win over Houston on Tuesday night to extend the Cardinals' win streak to 12 games.
Schimmel was 9-of-14 shooting, including 7-of-11 from behind the 3-point line as the Cardinals (19-1, 7-0 American) shot 54 percent from the field, including hitting 11-of-21 from behind the arc.
Asia Taylor added 16 points, Bria Smith had 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and Emmonnie Henderson chipped in 14 points.
The Cardinals outscored Houston 55-23 in the second half.
"It's kind of what we have been doing the last three or four games, unfortunately," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "We have given some teams some confidence. We have to get better at putting teams away."
Louisville tied the best start in conference play at 7-0, which they set during the 1996-97 season.
Yasmeen Thompson had 10 points and eight rebounds, and Marche' Amerson and Demetria Foreman each added 10 points for the Cougars (4-14, 0-7), who shot 30 percent from the field and committed 25 turnovers in losing its seventh straight.
"The first half I thought the intensity was there, we were hitting our shots," Houston interim coach Wade Scott. "As the game wore down, when you miss those easy ones everyone's confidence gets down just a little bit. Everyone presses to get that next score. The girls gave their effort, they did what we asked them to do, so you just have to tip your hat to the other guy."
Louisville pushed its halftime lead to 12 to start the second half, but Houston closed to 41-33 on Foreman's jumper two minutes in.
That would be as close as the Cougars got the rest of the way as Louisville used a 14-2 run over the next five minutes to up the lead to 19 on Schimmel's 3-pointer.
"We responded the way I expected them to," Walz said of his team's second half play. "We kept our composure. We started to pass the basketball, reverse it and give us a chance to do more with the basketball instead of just one pass and shoot. We have kids that can score. Once we get it moving, we are hard to guard. . Finally when we got things going, you get to see how special we can be."
Amerson said Houston beat itself in the second half.
"A lot of people may not see it that way, but we are a good team and if we can get those small things down and learn to stay together throughout the whole entire game we have a chance to shock a lot of people," Amerson said. "So I don't really think it was anything that they did differently in the second half. It is just that we have to learn to play for a full game."
After Houston jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a 3-pointer by Foreman, Louisville responded with a 13-0 run over the next 4:44, capped by a Schimmel 3-pointer with 13:04 remaining. Schimmel had six and Taylor had four in the run.
Louisville pushed its lead to 30-16 with 5:20 left in the first half on a free throw by Henderson to cap a 7-0 run, but the Cougars answered with an 11-2 run to cut the lead to five on a 3-pointer by Marissa Ashton with three minutes left in the half.
The Cardinals led 38-29 at the half.
"We usually have late starts in the first half," Schimmel said. "We kind of don't get into things real quick. To let them get ahead, we came right back at them. We definitely took it, and in the second half we margined that lead. To get a fresh start in the beginning of the first half, will help us."
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