Going into this game, win or lose, I was most interested in seeing if Miami would bring the same type of intensity as their last win - a wall-to-wall big-time effort to blow out Virginia Tech. Early on, it looked as if that was going to be the case. Would the 'Canes hang tough or would the Cardinals Chase Miami out of Louisville?
The 'Canes seemed to have their legs under them and quickly jumped out to a 5-0 lead on the back of true frosh Omar Sherman who converted a Jeikri pass for a lay-in and then drilled a contested 3 from the top of the key.
Jekiri converted on a nice spinning jumper in the lane and after a Montrezl Harrell layup, Jekiri struck again with a baseline drive after the 'Canes broke the Louisville press.
Louisville Coach Rick Pitino called a quick time-out to try and get his team to match Miami's early intensity. But the 'Canes kept coming. Angel Rodriguez hit a bit 3 in rhythm (key for him) and before you know it, Miami was up 16-6. A bomb by Sheldon McClellan made it 19-6, forcing yet another early time-out.
Louisville turned up the press and started to creep back into the game. The 'Canes slopped the ball around for a few minutes and took some questionable shots. Fortunately, Louisville had the same strategy and the score remained fairly stagnant until Rodriguez found McClellan on the lob for a highlight-caliber dunk.
Towards the end of the half Harrell and Jekiri were involved in a bizarre play. Harrell, after pulling down a rebound, seemed to whale the ball at Jekiri's face for no reason. After a lengthy review, the officials T'd Harrell up. Jekiri looked a bit woozy and was somewhat ineffective for the remainder of the half.
The 'Canes and Cards traded 3's and Miami took a 29-19 lead into the locker room. Could Miami extend their hard-nosed effort through the second stanza?
Jekiri didn't make it out of the locker room and that smelled of doom for Miami. Harrell's punk-move paid dividends for Louisville as they appeared to need Bush League garbage to get back into the game. In the blink of an eye, the Cardinals closed the gap to one-possession, punctuated by a Harrell 3, which sent the Louisville faithful into a frenzy.
Jekiri emerged from the locker room after the Miami lead had been cut to just two. Then Louisville started getting BS calls on top of everything else and Miami looked like they were in danger of unraveling. Rodriguez reverted to his habit of taking terrible shots and before you knew it, the 'Canes had lost the lead.
But a 3 by Deandre Burnett seemed to halt the bleeding for a bit and the 'Canes regained the lead on a 4-on-1 fast break as McClellan converted on a Rodriguez shot that was swatted by the underside of the rim.
With just over 5 minutes to play, Burnett drove the lane and converted a sweet layup. The Miami lead jostled between 1 and 3 points for what seemed like forever. Finally, Chris Jones, who was supposed to be suspended until Louisville sucked without him, gave the Cardinals a lead with just 2:50 left.
Burnett hit another fantastic running layup to give the 'Canes the lead with just over 2 to play. After seeing sporadic playing time, Burnett's fresh legs seemed to give him a step on Louisville defenders and the 'Canes seemed to be leaning on him down the stretch.
Louisville clung to a 1 point lead with 27.6 left and the 'Canes had possession. Burnett tried to take the ball to the rim but fell down and Louisville grabbed the loose ball. Miami quickly fouled Harrell, who bricked the 2nd free throw, leaving Miami with 8 seconds left and trailing by 2.
Miami chose to go with Rodriguez, who continued his atrocious shooting (1-12 from the field). He missed. Miami lost a game they could have pulled out.
Devastating loss for the 'Canes - but give them credit - they put out quite an effort.
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||6-12||0-0||1-3||6||9||15||1||0||0||0||3||13|
|Omar Sherman, F||3-7||1-4||0-0||0||1||1||0||1||1||1||2||7|
|Angel Rodriguez, G||1-12||1-5||2-2||1||3||4||4||1||0||4||3||5|
|Sheldon McClellan, G||7-13||3-6||0-0||1||3||4||2||1||0||0||1||17|
|Davon Reed, G||0-2||0-1||0-0||0||2||2||1||0||0||1||3||0|
|Ivan Cruz Uceda, F||0-4||0-2||0-0||1||4||5||1||1||0||1||1||0|
|Joe Thomas, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Deandre Burnett, G||3-4||1-1||2-2||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||1||9|
|Manu Lecomte, G||1-2||0-0||0-0||1||0||1||0||0||0||4||0||2|
|James Palmer, G||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0|
|Chinanu Onuaku, C||0-0||0-0||1-2||5||3||8||1||1||2||0||3||1|
|Wayne Blackshear, F||3-8||1-3||3-4||2||1||3||2||0||2||1||2||10|
|Montrezl Harrell, F||7-13||1-1||6-10||6||8||14||1||3||3||4||3||21|
|Terry Rozier, G||3-15||0-4||0-0||1||6||7||2||3||0||2||1||6|
|Quentin Snider, G||0-2||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Anas Mahmoud, F||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||0|
|Mangok Mathiang, F||0-2||0-0||0-0||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Shaqquan Aaron, G||0-2||0-1||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Chris Jones, G||6-13||3-8||2-3||2||3||5||2||2||0||3||3||17|
|David Levitch, G||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: 1 LOUISVILLE ( Harrell 1 ) - TEAMS: None
Officials: Earl Watson, Tim Comer, Mike Eades