By Beau Kilpatrick—
The Miami Hurricanes jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead against the No. 4 Louisville Cardinals in today’s ACC matchup. The Hurricanes led by as many as 14 points and the Cardinals did not gain their first lead until a little over five minutes remaining in the game. Louisville would go on to win 71-66 in the KFC YUM! Center.
The Cardinals took a little while to get warmed up today. In fact, it took 34:42 for the Cards to capture the lead. Mangok Mathiang claimed the first lead for the home team on a made free throw, bringing the score to 53-54 with 5:18 remaining. Miami tied the game again at 61 points with 1:56 left.
Miami helped in the Cardinals win with late turnovers and a technical foul with just over a minute left. Miami called a timeout when the Louisville defense trapped them in the corner; however, Miami did not have any timeouts remaining.
Louisville native Quentin Snider returned from a hip flexor injury today and made some crucial plays that helped in the comeback win. Q buried a deep three-pointer with 42 seconds remaining to put Louisville’s lead out of reach from the ’Canes. Coach Rick Pitino was so charged during this moment that he was on his knee, ferociously cheering, and giving an enthusiastic fist pump as Snider drained the jumper.
Watch coach Pitino celebrate the shot: http://www.cardchronicle.com/2017/2/11/14588650/rick-pitino-gives-monster-fist-pump-after-made-3
More video highlights: http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/video?gameId=400915437
Snider performed pretty good considering that he has missed the past six games. Q scored 13 points and had four assists.
Donovan Mitchell has carried this team for the past few weeks and he contributed largely to their success today. Mitchell had 18 points, four assists, a steal and a block. Deng Adel was suspended during U of L’s loss to Virginia Monday night but made up for that today. Adel also scored 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and a block.
Mangok Mathiang also returned today from a suspension he served with Adel. Mathiang and Jaylen Johnson each grabbed eight rebounds. Mathiang added a steal, a block, and seven points; and Johnson scored 10 points, had two steals and a block as well.
The Cards came out flat today and I believe this could be cause for concern if they continue to play lazily in the first half of games. Today’s slow start may be attributed to a hangover from the loss at Virginia, it could be that the players that have helped keep Louisville afloat were on the bench for some reason, or it could have been because of Pitino allowing Snider to gain his footing again after missing six games. Whatever the cause is, it needs to be fixed.
It seemed like the crazed fan that ran onto the court had more energy than the Cards did in the first half.
More on the arrest of the crazy fan: http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/18668366/man-enters-miami-huddle-game-vs-no-4-louisville
Louisville only has six games remaining before the ACC tournament begins. Right now they are one game back from North Carolina in the ACC rankings along with Duke, and they are a half game behind Florida State and Virginia. This is by far the strongest conference in college basketball this year.
The No. 4 Louisville Cardinals will travel to New York in two days to take on Syracuse. You can watch the game Monday night, February 13, at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
As always, GO CARDS!!! #L1C4!!!