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Cardinals Shut Down Miami Late for 80-71 Road Win

Photo by: UL Athletics

MIAMI, FL – January 10, 2024 – Zach Greenwell

Louisville men’s basketball held Miami scoreless for the final 3:30 and scored the last nine points of the game Wednesday night, surging past Miami for an 80-71 road win.

The victory was the Cardinals’ first true road win in its last 23 tries, and the first since beating Georgia Tech on Jan. 2, 2022.

It was also just Miami’s second home loss in its last 27 at Watsco Center. The Hurricanes were 9-0 at home this season coming into the game.

“For my players to go out and play as hard as they did, as together as they did – through adversity and all the doubt – and come out and play the way they did, I’m proud of them,” UofL head coach Kenny Payne said. “(Miami) is one of the best offensive teams in the country, and the only way to beat them is to fight for 40 minutes and figure out what happens at the end.”

The Cardinals (6-9, 1-3 ACC) held Miami’s high-powered offense to just 38.8% shooting, including 27.8% in the second half. Louisville scored 24 points off the Hurricanes’ 13 turnovers.

Redshirt sophomore guard/forward Mike James led Louisville with a career-high 26 points, while junior forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield had 22 points and nine rebounds.

Freshman wing Curtis Williams tallied 13 points and five assists off the bench, and sophomore guard Skyy Clark contributed nine points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals.

James came out hot with 16 points in the first seven minutes of the game, making his first six shots, including four 3-pointers.

He scored 10 straight by himself at one point to give the Cardinals an 18-10 lead at the 12:46 mark.

Miami later went on an 8-0 run to pull back in front and got its lead to 41-33 with 1:16 remaining. Freshman guard Ty-Laur Johnson scored the final two buckets of the half to get Louisville within 41-37 at the break.

The Hurricanes (11-4, 2-2) extended the lead back to eight in the second half, but a 7-0 UofL run – capped with a Williams 3 – tied the game at 57 with 9:56 remaining.

A Huntley-Hatfield basket and James 3 made it 71-66 Louisville at the 5-minute mark before Miami answered with its own five points, including a dunk by Matthew Cleveland to tie it with 3:30 to go.

The Hurricanes never scored again. The Cardinals had seven free throws in the final minutes, along with a layup by Clark to seal it.

Louisville shot 49% from the field, made 10 3-pointers and netted 14 of 16 free throws.

Cleveland paced Miami with 22 points and 12 rebounds.

The Cards return home to host NC State at 12 p.m. ET Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center. The game will air on The CW.

“Most importantly, it shows me and my team that we can compete with the best in the ACC,” James said. “We have no excuses to play down from this level. We’ve got to carry it on through the rest of the ACC games and see what happens.”

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