After highlighting Maryland's defensive effort in their Sweet 16 win against Tennessee, Todd Carton of SB Nation's Testudo Times once again brought attention to a defensive effort that reduced Louisville's normally efficient offense to just 0.78 points per possession.
Part of that effort was forcing Louisville into turnovers on 25.2% of their possessions. part of it was their defense of Cardinals star guard Shoni Schimmel.
As mentioned previously, Katie Rutan was a major part of an effort to bother Schimmel in the first half. In the second half, they shut her down almost entirely.
[Katie Rutan] picked up a steal and drew an early charge on Shoni Schimmel...Sometimes, you simply can't look at the final numbers. When Shoni Schimmel made a jump shot with 15:08 to play in the second half, Louisville had 45 points. The Cardinals reached 47 points with 7:36 to play. That's over seven and a half minutes without a point. Before that Antonita Slaughter basket, Maryland went from a three point deficit to a nine point lead. Before she made three of four ridiculously tough three point jumpers in the game's final 31 seconds, the Terps held Schimmel to 36 percent shooting and 25 percent from behind the arc - both below her season average. (But all credit to her for making huge shots when they counted.)
Although Carton discussed the shots she did take, perhaps more interesting were the shots Maryland prevented her from taking.
The Terrapins trapped Schimmel off screens to force Louisville's offense out of their rhythm and used a mix of taller, longer defenders to make her think twice about shooting and contest shots when she did get looks.
As much as some of the Cardinals' turnovers were due to poor decision-making, Maryland's activity and athleticism all over the court was a primary reason for stopping Louisville.