Louisville, KY — In a race to the final buzzer, the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes gave the No. 9 Louisville Cardinals all it could handle. But, it was the Cardinals who emerged victorious, 63-59.
“They are a good team,” Louisville head coach Jeff Walz said of Miami’s ability to hang in the game. “They’re a top 15, top 12 team. That’s what going to happen.”
The No. 14 Miami Hurricanes entered the game looking for its third road win against a top-25 team. The Hurricanes are 2-1 on the road this season against ranked opponents and 2-2 versus top-15 opponents. Miami, fresh off handing Virginia Tech its first loss of the season, came into the KFC Yum! Center looking for a second consecutive top 15 win.
While No. 9 Louisville came into the game looking for a win after falling just short to No. 7 Florida State on Thursday.
In an action-packed first minute of the game, Mariya Moore drove to the bucket for two to put the Cardinals on the board. But, Adrienne Motley, the ACC’s top active scorer, countered connecting on a jump-shot. Cortnee Walton struck back for the Cardinals.
Louisville’s defense locked in, forcing the Hurricane’s to go 0-of-4 from the field, while holding the Hurricanes scoreless for nearly five minutes. The Cardinals took an easy 11-4 lead. Emese Hof broke Miami’s scoring drought as she laid it in for two at the 4:21 mark.
Moore was able to counter firing off a three-pointer. But, Motley fired back with a three-pointer of her own. Moore answered as she added two, to put Louisville up, 16-9.
An inadvertent blow to the face at the 2:50 mark sent Myisha Hines-Allen crashing to the floor with an apparent injury to the left eye area. The injury led the refs to review the play for any contact made above the shoulders. No foul was assessed though. Hines-Allen went to the bench for the final 2:50.
The Cardinals held the Hurricanes scoreless for the final 2:42 of the first period, and cruised into the second period behind an 18-11 lead.
Nigia Greene struck first in the second period, connecting on a layup to bring the Hurricane’s within five.
Miami’s defense cracked down, stifling the Cardinals. Louisville committed four turnovers in the first 5:00 of the period. The Hurricane’s held the Cardinals without a score until the 5:08 mark when Asia Durr connected on a jump-shot.
Miami was able to cut Louisville’s lead to two, 20-18. But the Cardinals came back as Moore drove for a layup plus one for a three-point play and Hines-Allen added two to give the Cardinals a 25-18 advantage.
Keyona Hayes and Jessica Thomas added four quick points for Miami, cutting into Louisville’s seven-point lead. However, Briahanna Jackson picked up a huge steal that ended in a jump-shot with 1:20 remaining in the half. Jackson’s quick play forced the Hurricane’s to burn a timeout.
Motley fired off a three-pointer out of the timeout. Louisville responded as Hines-Allen drove to the bucket for two.
Louisville capped off the half with a three-pointer from Moore in the closing seconds of the half.
Louisville and Miami scored 14 points a piece in the second period.
The Cardinals shot 37% from the field in the first half, connecting on 14 field goals. Louisville dominated the boards, outrebounding the Hurricanes, 28-15.
The Cardinals were led by Moore who racked up 13 points, while Jackson added 7. Hines-Allen controlled the glass for Louisville pulling down 8 rebounds, 5 on the defensive glass.
Moore’s hot streak from beyond the arc continued out of the half as she fired off a three-pointer to put the Cardinals up, 35-27.
Keyanna Harris picked up two quick fouls out of the half. With three personal fouls the junior was forced to sit the bench with 8:17 remaining in the third period.
Back-to-back scoring from Hayes cut Louisville’s lead to four points. Miami sprinted out to a 6-0 run.
A foul committed by Motley sent Durr to the line for three free throws. Behind Durr, the Cardinals scored 6 unanswered points. The Cardinals took an 8 point lead, 41-33.
Louisville had the opportunity to extend its lead to 10, but a foul committed by Jackson sent Thomas to the line to hit 1-of-2.
Despite the Hurricanes outscoring the Cardinals, 18-15, in the third period, Louisville held a 47-43 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Hines-Allen struck first for the Cardinals as Louisville took a 6 point lead.
Laura Cornelius picked up her third personal foul sending Moore to the line to knock in two free-throws. Cornelius made up for the foul as she fired off a three-pointer to bring the Hurricanes within five. Hof followed as she added two, cutting the Cardinals lead to three, 51-48, with 6:36 remaining in the game.
Moore responded, as she had all evening, connecting on a jump-shot to put the Cardinals back up by 5. But, Thomas cut the lead again as she countered with a jump-shot of her own. Briahanna Jackson laid the ball in for two, putting the Cardinals back up.
Louisville head coach Jeff Walz took a timeout as the Hurricane’s continued to cut into the Cardinal’s lead.
Out of the timeout, Motley responded with a huge three-pointer, bringing the Hurricanes within two, 55-53.
The Cardinals brought the ball down and got the ball in Moore’s hands, who fired off a three-pointer of her own with 3:38 remaining.
The Hurricanes picked up the tempo as Hof and Hayes added 4 quick points and brought Miami within one point, 60-59.
However, Hayes picked up her third personal foul, sending Hines-Allen to the line to hit two. Louisville extended its lead, 62-59, with under one minute remaining.
A foul committed by Walton put the ball in Miami’s possession with 47 seconds remaining. Jackson, who realized Louisville had fouls to give, picked up her fourth personal, but ran just enough time off the clock to force the Hurricane’s try to make a three-pointer with 20 second remaining.
The ball was placed in Thomas’ hands, who went 0-4 on from beyond the arc on the evening. Thomas was unable to get a good look from three, so she pulled up for a jump-shot, but misfired. The ball was rebounded by Moore, who was immediately fouled and sent to the charity stripe to hit 1-of-2.
Louisville rebounded the ball, and handed the Miami Hurricanes its third conference loss.
The Hurricane’s tenacity kept Miami in the game, but ultimately, Louisville’s ability to execute in the closing seconds led to a 63-59 win for the Cardinals.
He went on to praise the ACC, “everybody top to bottom, our league has gotten better. There is no walk in park.”
Louisville red shirt senior, Cortnee Walton, credits the victory to rebounding.
“The guards did really good job today,” Walton told the media. “If we can rebound, we can run in transition, get easy baskets and we win.”
The Cardinals finished with 11 assists on 24 made field goals, connecting on 37% from the field. Louisville banked in 5 three-pointers, 4 of which came from Moore. Louisville crashed the glass, holding a 46-41 advantage on the boards. The Cardinals also dominated the paint outscoring Miami 32-22.
While the Hurricane’s started out slow, hitting a dismal 25% from the field in the first period, Miami came out strong in the next three periods to finish the game hitting 41% from the field. Miami’s defense forced Louisville to turn the ball over 14 times and the Hurricanes converted the 14 turnovers into 12 points.
The Cardinals had three players post double-digits: Mariya Moore paced Louisville racking up 24-points and 7 rebounds. Briahanna Jackson posted 11 points, 5 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Myisha HInes-Allen rounded out the top scorers with 10 points and 11 rebounds, notching her seventh double-double on the season.
For the Hurricanes, Adrienne Motley led Miami posting 13 points and 6 assists. Jessica Thomas notched 11 points and 5 assists, while Emese Hof and Keyona Hayes both added 10 points a piece.
The Cardinals are back in action on Wednesday as they face off against Georgia Tech at the KFC Yum! Center. Miami will have a week off before they return to the court on Jan. 22 when they play at Syracuse.