Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Sara Hammond led the way with a team-high 17 points as the No. 3 Louisville Cardinals handily defeated the Houston Cougars, 81-62, KFC Yum! Center.

Shoni Schimmel supplied 15 points with eight rebounds and three assists for the Cardinals (26-2, 14-1 AAC), who have won three straight and 19 of their last 20. Emmonnie Henderson chipped in 12 points off the bench in the win.

The Cougars (5-21, 1-14) were paced by Marche Amerson, who had a game-high 23 points. Jessieka Palmer contributed 16 points and five rebounds in Houston's third straight loss.

Louisville started off the game on a 13-3 burst. Hammond had seven points and Schimmel scored six in the run.

Amerson got the Cougars within 24-22 off her triple with under eight minutes to go in the first half, but the Cardinals went on a 14-5 run to end the period.

Palmer's layup cut Louisville's lead to 11 points, 42-31, early in the final frame, but that was the closest Houston would get as Louisville's lead swelled to 26 points down the stretch.