Add Event My Events Log In

Upcoming Events

    LouLife

    Harrell Showed the Warrior Spirit, Helps Louisville Basketball Down Miami 63-55
    Print this page

    While back home it was still chilly, the ninth ranked University of Louisville basketball Cardinals (19-3, 7-2 ACC) spent Tuesday night in relatively balmy Miami (14-8, 4-5) to take on the Hurricanes in an ACC battle. And what a battle as the Cards escape the Sunshine State with the win 63-55.

    For Cardinal head coach Rick Pitino had to find a way to keep his teams head in the game after Saturday’s epic comeback overtime victory over North Carolina at the KFC Yum! Center. Did the Cards spend too much emotional capital when they turned around that 18-point deficit into a 10 point victory. Turns out, that wouldn’t be a worry at all.

    The Canes aren’t a cupcake team. Last week they were the #23 team in the country before a couple of bad losses dropped them from the poll. They do count Duke as a big name team they’ve overcome.

    Early, both teams experienced some cold shooting. Of course, the Cardinal defense contributed to Miami’s frosty shooting percentage. 4 blocks in the first 4 minutes of the game seemed rather intimidating.

    Senior forward Wayne Blackshear showed some early fire including a three pointer to open the game. Surely he heard the whispers about his lack of production in big games. It seemed like he came into the game to quiet those voices. Instead, they get a little louder because he would only score once after his early 5.

    Halfway through the first half Montrezl Harrell hit the deck hard after a foul by Miami’s Omar Sherman on a shot attempt. Card Nation held their breath, as you might imagine. Trezz stayed in the game. He was shaken up enough to miss both free throws, though.

    Louisville led all but :44 seconds of the first half, going up by as many as 13 points.They went into the locker room up 35-26 on 68% shooting while holding the Hurricanes to 38%. Harrell played an inside out game, scoring from distance and, when  he got an opening, dunking in rim-rattling fashion.

    Cold shooting opened the second half, too. Chris Jones fixed that by taking all 5 Canes to the rim.

    One thing that continues to plague Louisville is bench production. Miami had decent scoring from their second line players but the Cards don’t get anything from from their next 6 and nothing much from the starter in the 5 spot, no matter who that player is. Teams can exploit that.

    When the Louisville starters start putting up bricks, who do you turn to? In this game Davon Reed came off the bench for the U and put up 19 of the 29 points that came from the Hurricane reserves. Which Cardinal will step into that role? Will any? After all, in the second stanza, the Cards tried to build a house as they dropped to 48% shooting for the game.

    Harrell went down again in the second half on a rebound attempt. He ended up in the locker room for about :60 seconds. His teammates needed him. Jaylen Johnson just isn’t ready to be that guy yet.

    But when you think about it, someone off the bench needs to be ready to be some kind of guy because only 4 Cardinals scored in the game. Coach Pitino reminds us that this isn’t a great offensive team. Got it. But the second line is the future first string.

    This years version of the first five saw Terry Rozier put in 22, Harrell had 18 with 9 rebounds and Jones scored 16 while snagging 8 rebounds.

    These teams will meet again on February 21st at the KFC Yum! Center. First, Louisville travels to third ranked Virginia on Saturday for an ACC showdown between Top 10 teams.

    Photo by: Tim Girton/Louisville.com

    Tim Girton's picture

    About Tim Girton

    Tim Girton writes about University of Louisville sports here at Louisville.com and his love for Louisville continues on his photoblog, called This Is Louisville.

    More from author:      

    Share On:

    Upcoming Events

      Event Finder

      Subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or RSS