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Canes Hoops: Miami Taken Down by Louisville in Second Half

The Hurricanes posed a threat to the Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center but couldn't get over the hump late in the game.

NCAA Basketball: Miami at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

61 days after the Louisville Cardinals gave the Miami Hurricanes a sour greeting to basketball season on Nov. 5, UM gave Louisville a scare in the second half but couldn't get over the hump, falling by a 74-58 scoreline at the KFC Yum! Center Tuesday night.

Miami (9-5, 1-3 ACC) takes their second loss in as many games following a home defeat at the hands of Duke Saturday night.

The Canes couldn't find the horsepower to get closer than striking distance in the Bluegrass State, with their lowest team offensive since their 80-55 loss to Connecticut on Nov. 24. UM shot just 27.9% from the field, 25.8% from three-point range, and were outrebounded 48-37.

Most positively, Jim Larrañaga’s team turned the ball over just five times.

The always lethal veteran trio of Chris Lykes, Kameron McGusty and DJ Vasiljevic led Miami with 18, 18 and 12 points respectively. However, the rest of the lineup provided a measly 10 points, with Sam Waardenburg’s 10 rebounds being the only stat of note outside of those from the three starting guards.

Conversely, the Cardinals led a balanced offensive attack that featured a game-high 19 points and 12 rebounds from preseason All-American Jordan Nwora, 12 points and 10 rebounds from senior post Steven Enoch, and 10 from junior guard Darius Perry. Junior forward Malik Williams also provided 10 points off the bench, singlehandedly outscoring the entire UM reserves.

The start of the second half provided a chance for the Hurricanes to get back into the matchup Tuesday as both teams shot a combined 3-16 in the first five minutes after intermission, for just seven points.

UM took the defensive momentum to mount a come-from-behind attempt, cutting the deficit to as little as five points multiple times between the 9:39 mark and the 4:59 mark of the second half, but failing to get any closer, as an 15-4 Cardinal run in the final 3:47 of the game sealed the deal.

A 20-2 first half run by UL gave them a 20-point lead less then 13 minutes into the game, before the Canes outscored the home team 22-13 in the final 7:30 of the opening half.

UM was able to score first after halftime and cut the margin to single digits, and got within five multiple times late in the second half. Unfortunately, Miami was left only to ponder what may have been with an extra made basket late in the game.

Thin UM Lineup

The program announced before the tip that Senior forward Keith Stone will miss an indefinite amount of time due to a left knee injury.

Stone has 5.5 points per game as a Hurricane in 2019-20, as a graduate transfer from Florida. The Deerfield Beach native has also logged just under four rebounds per game this year, with a season-high 13 points against Temple on Dec. 17 and a season-high in rebounds with nine on Dec. 31 at Clemson.

His season got off to a late start, making his debut on Dec. 2 at Illinois—an effect of torn ACL in his right knee while playing for the Gators at Georgia on Jan. 19 a season ago.

As if the Canes couldn't afford losing losing any additional depth, forward Waardenburg was limited due to knee tendentious.

Miami has already lost redshirt-sophomore Deng Gak for the season, also due to knee injury.

UM will take their limited depth home in time for Sunday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Panthers, set for a 6 p.m. tip on the ACC Network.