No. 24 MBB Outlasts Louisville in Overtime, 78-75
By Tom Symonds
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Lonnie Walker show continued to gain steam Wednesday night, as the Hurricanes’ fantastic freshman led the University of Miami men’s basketball team to a thrilling 78-75 overtime win over the University of Louisville at the Watsco Center.
Walker, who came into the game averaging 15.7 points per game in his last three contests, continued his recent assault on Atlantic Coast Conference competition, finishing with an ACC-best 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the floor.
Teammates Dewan Huell and Ja’Quan Newton also joined Walker in double figures finishing with 18 and 12 points, respectively.
Huell finished with a team-high 12 rebounds to record his fourth double-double on the year.
The Hurricanes also received strong contributions from sophomore Bruce Brown and redshirt freshman Sam Waardenburg, as they pulled down 11 and career-high seven rebounds, respectively. Newton also tallied a season-high seven rebounds.
As a team, Miami held a commanding 49-38 rebounding advantage. The Canes 49 rebounds were a season high.
Miami’s overtime win over Louisville marked the first win in extra frames for the Hurricanes since its 54-48 triumph over Virginia on Feb. 20, 2017.
Louisville jumped out to an early five-point advantage in the first eight minutes of the game and led Miami 13-8, but the Canes responded with a 10-0 push to open up a 19-13 lead with 10:04 remaining in the first half. Walker led the Hurricane charge, as he scored five points during the stretch.
Miami would go on to hold the lead for the next six minutes, but the Cardinals fought back to tie the game at 31 with 3:43 thanks to a 7-2 run. Neither team would lead by more than two points for the remainder of the half.
Louisville took a one-point lead (38-37) into the locker room, marking just the fourth time all year Miami has trailed at the half this season.
Walker led all scorers as he finished the opening half with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field.
Louisville came out of the locker room came out firing to open the second half, as it opened up a seven-point lead. The Canes quickly responded with a run of their own as they went on a 6-0 push to trim Louisville’s advantage to one (44-43), forcing a Cardinal timeout.
Miami took its first lead of the second half with 14:18 to go in the game thanks to a pair of free throws by Ja’Quan Newton, giving the Hurricanes a 47-46 advantage. Eight of Newton’s 12 points came in the second half.
Louisville responded with a 5-0 run to re-claim the lead and take a four-point lead (51-47).
Over the course of the final 13 minutes, neither team led by more than three points. The closing moments of the game also saw six lead changes and a pair of ties to force overtime.
In the overtime frame, Miami held Louisville without a field goal and outscored the Cardinals 9-6 to capture its second straight win and its seventh win at home.
Miami returns to action on Saturday (Jan. 27), as it heads to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on Florida State. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.