By John McCarthy —
The Cardinals defeated Miami (OH) Dec. 18 at the KFC Yum! Center, 70-46.
The Redhawks tested Louisville in the first half, but the Cardinals settled down in the second half and won by a comfortable 24 points.
The Cardinals struggled from the field in the first half, shooting less than 30% from the three-point line.
Miami (5-6, 0-0) had a series of runs led by precise rebounding that challenged Louisville in the first 20 minutes.
The Cardinals (11-1, 2-0) managed to go on a 14-2 run to go up by twelve points, but the Redhawks continued to cut into the Louisville lead.
By the end of the first half, Louisville fought back, spreading the gap to 28-20. The major contributor for the Redhawks in the first half was sophomore Mekhi Lairy, who had 10 points.
The second half was all Cardinals after the clock struck ten minutes left.
Junior Jordan Nwora poured in 20 points while senior Ryan MacMahon contributed 11 points. Senior Dwayne Sutton tied his career-high for rebounds with 15.
Although the Cardinals never trailed in the game, the Redhawks were able to cut the deficit to 44-40 with 9:02 left in the second half after Redhawk sophomore Josh Brewer’s three-pointer.
The Cardinals went on a 17-0 run the next five minutes to close out Miami.
This is the fifth loss in the last six games for the struggling Redhawks. Cardinal Coach Chris Mack said, “I am just happy that we were able to finish the game the right way in such an overwhelming fashion the last ten minutes.”
This matchup resulted in a much-needed victory for the Cardinals. Following the Cardinals’ loss in Madison Square Garden against Texas Tech, Miami matched with a No. 3 Louisville team seeking to get back to the top spot in the nation.
The Cardinals’ next game will be against the Kentucky Wildcats, their long time in-state rival. The Wildcats will head home after a two-game getaway in Las Vegas before hosting the Cardinals. Louisville will clash with Kentucky Dec. 28 at 3:45 p.m. at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.
The Wildcats have won the last two games in the battle of the bluegrass against Louisville, but this season, they will have their hands full with an all-around elite top five in the nation Louisville team.
File photo // The Louisville Cardinal