The Louisville Cardinals and their shot-blocking big men tried to swat away the Miami Hurricanes at the Watsco Center on Wednesday night, but the Canes held on to win a 78-75 overtime thriller after a trio of clutch blocks of their own.
Freshman Lonnie Walker IV led UM with 25 points, including four three-pointers and a game-tying driving layup with 4.8 seconds remaining in regulation. His block with 2.4 seconds remaining in overtime sealed the win. The teams were tied 69-69 at the end of regulation.
Dewan Huell had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, including a clutch basket with 35 seconds to go in overtime. Ja’Quan Newton added 12 points and had a big block that led to Huell’s go-ahead basket. Bruce Brown struggled with his shot, going 2-for-10, but grabbed 11 rebounds and made free throws in the final minute.
Louisville ranks second in the nation in blocked shots with 7.3 per game, led by Anas Mahmoud’s 3.53 per game. They had 10 against UM, including two by Mahmoud in overtime.
Miami, undersized for much of the night, got some help from little-used 6-10 redshirt freshman Sam Waardenburg, a New Zealand native who sat out the early part of the season with a back injury. Waardenburg grabbed seven rebounds in 13 minutes and showed that Hurricanes can block shots, too, denying a Deng Adel second-half shot that delighted the crowd.
Quentin Snider was Louisville’s leading scorer with 18 points. Mahmoud went 6-of-8, and Ray Spalding had a game-high 13 rebounds.
UM heads to Tallahassee this weekend for a 4 p.m. game Saturday against Florida State. The Hurricanes beat the Seminoles 80-74 in Coral Gables on Jan 7.