Could Miami Basketball Chase the Cardinals out of Coral Gables? Would the two-game losing streak come to a crashing end with another tournament-building resume-booster? Would the 'Canes home faithful arrive with more than a mainline dose of Thorazine as they dispassionately sat through one of the biggest games of the year? Would a PSA featuring Sheldon McClellan teaching them how to clap be enough to teach them how to get loud?
Tonye Jekiri got the 'Canes out of the gate with a deft move in the key, and Miami looked to stand tall against the talented team from Louisville, Kentucky. Early on, Miami had difficulty scoring. Angel Rodriguez continued to struggle - along with the rest of the team. Everyone looked gun-shy against Cardinal pressure. After 10 minutes, the 'Canes were down 16-6. Montrezl Harrell, a load for anyone to deal with inside, seemed to get injured on a shot attempt, but after a time-out, the NBA-lottery pick was back in the game.
Everything looked easy for the Cardinals, while everything looked difficult for Miami. After playing so well, it was kind of a head-scratcher that Davon Reed was stripped from the starting rotation. Miami made a bit of a run, sparked by Ja'Quan Newton and Ivan Cruz Uceda, to cut the Louisville lead to 23-17 with just under 5 minutes left in the first half. But the optimism was short-lived as Louisville built the lead back up to 12 in the blink of an eye.
Heading into the locker room, 'Canes fans had little to cheer for as they were being dismantled by Louisville. Reed continued his strong play, doing his best to keep the 'Canes in it as Louisville couldn't miss. Louisville took a 35-26 lead into the half.
The second half might have gotten out of hand, but Reed continued his torrent shooting, willing Miami back into the game. After Reed connected on 3 consecutive 3-balls, Jekiri nailed a jumper and the 'Canes faithful finally had something to cheer about.
The Cardinal lead hovered from 4-6 for most of the 2nd stanza. Angel Rodriguez trimmed the lead to 5 with a floater at the 2:25 mark. With a chance to cut into the lead further, Miami faltered from long range and amoeba-absorbed their 3rd loss in a row. Even with a pretty dense crowd, there was no Elfin magic available - no rest for Rivendale. The 'Canes have to go back to the drawing board.
1) If the starting lineup needs to be altered Davon Reed should NOT be the odd man out.
2) Despite a solid effort on both sides of the ball, Miami is one more defensive presence inside from being a top-caliber team. Hopefully that presence is Kamari Murphy
3) PG play has to get better. Much better.
Game Metaphor Footage: 'Canes can't dodge bullets.
|Chinanu Onuaku, C||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||2||2||0||0||3||0||4||0|
|Wayne Blackshear, F||3-5||1-3||0-0||0||2||2||1||0||2||2||4||7|
|Montrezl Harrell, F||7-12||0-1||4-7||5||4||9||0||0||2||3||1||18|
|Terry Rozier, G||8-17||2-8||4-5||0||5||5||0||3||0||2||1||22|
|Chris Jones, G||5-11||1-3||5-6||1||7||8||5||6||0||3||3||16|
|Mangok Mathiang, F||0-2||0-0||0-0||2||2||4||1||0||0||1||3||0|
|Shaqquan Aaron, G||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||5-14||0-0||0-0||6||4||10||2||0||0||1||2||10|
|Joe Thomas, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Angel Rodriguez, G||2-9||0-3||2-2||0||1||1||1||0||0||2||5||6|
|Sheldon McClellan, G||2-5||0-1||2-2||0||2||2||0||2||0||1||1||6|
|Manu Lecomte, G||0-1||0-0||3-3||0||0||0||3||1||0||1||0||3|
|Omar Sherman, F||0-3||0-2||1-2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1|
|Ivan Cruz Uceda, F||1-4||1-3||1-2||1||3||4||0||2||1||2||0||4|
|Davon Reed, G||7-8||5-6||0-0||0||5||5||1||2||0||2||4||19|
|Ja'Quan Newton, G||0-4||0-1||3-4||0||1||1||1||0||0||2||0||3|
|James Palmer, G||1-4||0-2||1-2||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||2||3|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None - TEAMS: None