The #16 Louisville Cardinals looked to continue their reign atop the ACC against Miami.
The Cards couldn’t survive the storm, as the Hurricanes handed them their first conference loss 78-72.
Miami was picked to possibly do great things in the conference before the season, but they’ve been absolutely decimated by injuries leaving them treading water at the bottom of the ACC.
Louisville looked brilliant in some stretches against Wake Forest, but also looked ready to give the game away at some points. They were looking for more consistency as the conference slate continues.
Things did not start auspiciously for the Cards, as the first half was perhaps the worst of basketbal Louisville had played outside of the Wisconsin game.
The teams stayed close for the first few minutes before Miami went on a 14-2 run to get a 13-point lead with just over five minutes to go in the first.
The Cards would start scoring again and get the deficit to single digits, but the Canes scored 5 points in the final minute to take a 33-21 lead into halftime.
Carlik Jones had eight points in the first half.
Miami scored the first bucket of the second half to get a 15-point lead early.
Louisville began chipping away at the deficit, getting it to single digits a few minutes into the half before a 6-0 run made the score 45-44 with 13 minutes left.
The Cards’ scoring dried up after that, allowing the Canes to widen the gap back to nine points a few minutes later.
Louisville stayed close, getting within four in the final minutes. But the Cards were forced to foul and Miami hit their free throws and kept Louisville at bay through the final buzzer.
Louisville was outshot and outrebounded this game, with the Canes pulling down 38 boards to the Cards’ 30.
In their previous game against Wake the Cards hit their first five three-pointers, but this contest they could only muster three treys all game, shooting 15 percent from beyond the arc.
Carlik Jones led the team in scoring with 25 points on 11-20 shooting.
Jae’Lyn Withers earned a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Dre Davis was the only other Louisville player in double-figures with 11 points.
Louisville falls to 9-2 for the season (4-1 ACC). Miami moves to 6-6 (2-5 ACC).
The Cards have a quick turnaround, having less than 48 hours before they face Florida State at home on January 18.<