Louisville moves to 19-3 with win over Miami

MIAMI - The University of Louisville basketball team did it on the road again on Tuesday, beating Miami 63-55 at BankUnited Arena. The Cardinals are now 19-3 on the season and 7-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Rick Pitino brought his Louisville Cardinals to Miami a day early for some sand, surf and shopping, and the fun continued when their game began Tuesday.

Led by Terry Rozier and Chris Jones, the No. 9-ranked Cardinals built an early 13-point lead and withstood a comeback bid by the Hurricanes in the second half to win 63-55.

The day off helped, Jones said.

''We did a lot of stuff away from the court,'' he said. ''Coach gave us a lot of time to free our minds and not think about basketball. We took it as a business trip, but also as a vacation. A lot of guys went to the beach and the mall and did a lot of things. Coach believes in us, and we got a victory.''

Jones had 16 points, six steals, eight rebounds and five assists, while backcourt mate Rozier scored 22 points. Montrezl Harrell added 18 points and nine rebounds.

It's a good thing they were well-rested, because all three played at least 38 minutes.

''We played a terrific game,'' Pitino said. ''We controlled tempo, and that's what we wanted to do.''

The Cardinals (19-3, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned their fourth consecutive victory. The Hurricanes (14-8, 4-5) lost their third game in a row and lost for the fifth time at home this season.

Miami sophomore Davon Reed sank five 3-pointers and tied a career high with 19 points. Tonye Jekiri added 10 points and 10 rebounds, but the Hurricanes shot only 34 percent and fell to 3-3 against ranked teams.

Pitino decided against deploying Louisville's smothering full-court press, mindful of Miami's guard-heavy lineup. And because the Hurricanes run a lot of pick and roll, Pitino substituted sparingly.

As a result, only four Cardinals scored. Their bench was outscored by Miami's 30-0, but it didn't matter, in part because Louisville shot 68 percent in the first half.

The attendance-challenged Hurricanes drew a noisy crowd of 6,563, and they were on their feet as the home team mounted its comeback. The Hurricanes trailed 41-28 with 15:30 left, and Reed sank a trio of 3-pointers as they scored nine consecutive points to climb back into the game.

Two free throws by Rodriguez cut Louisville's lead to 53-50 with 2:06 left, but the Cardinals sank eight of 10 free throws in the final 1:12 to seal the win.

Louisville plays at No. 3 Virginia on Saturday.


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