CRAWFORD | Overtime blues: Louisville falters late, drops OT loss at Miami
Louisville held Miami to 37 percent shooting from the field and led with less than a minute to play in both regulation and overtime, but crucial mistakes and big plays by the Hurricanes led to a 78-75 Miami win in overtime.
MIAMI, Fla. (WDRB) – The University of Louisville basketball team has a knack for working overtime on the road – but it isn’t reaping the rewards of it.
For the third time in four ACC road games, the Cardinals went to extra time Wednesday against Miami in the Watsco Center.
But for the second time in three games, the Cardinals played solid defense, even played well enough to win in regulation, but committed too many self-inflicted errors late to get the victory. In this game, it was 0-5 shooting in overtime and struggles securing defensive rebounds that let Miami walk away with a 78-75 victory.
It remains true – no ACC road opponent has beaten the Cardinals in regulation this season. But goodness, the team is developing a troubling habit of beating itself.
That’s not to say Miami isn’t good.
“You have to be pretty close to perfect to beat them,” first-year Louisville coach David Padgett said afterward.
Still, Padgett was at his most Pitino-esque yet after this loss. He quickly blew through the handshakes and headed for the tunnel after his team squandered a late lead. The victory would've be a fifth straight in ACC play for Louisville, something it hasn't done since joining the league. Instead, the Cards fell to 15-5 overall, 5-2 in the ACC.
“They made the big plays down the stretch and we weren’t able to,” Padgett said. “. . . Come on the road, you play well enough to win, you just get beat on a couple of offensive rebounds here and there. They played well, and they made big plays. . . . It’s the same old story. We’ve played pretty good defense all year, we just are struggling to rebound the ball at times, especially down the stretch, and if you give a team with that much firepower multiple chances, it’s going to burn you.”
The Cardinals made a couple of errors in the final 30 seconds of regulation that might’ve settled the game then. With a one-point lead, Ryan McMahon allowed himself to be tied up, expecting Miami to foul him. The Cards still forced a stop, and Anas Mahmoud grabbed the rebound, but made just one of two free throws with 13 seconds left.
Miami’s Lonnie Walker scored on an acrobatic drive in the lane to tie it with 4.8 seconds left, and the Cards were headed to their second straight overtime game on the road.
Louisville again nosed in front in the overtime period, leading 71-69 with 1:30 to play despite not making a field goal in the period and being outrebounded 12-5. But Adel missed a difficult shot in the lane, and Miami scored on a runout dunk to tie the game at 71-71 with 1:10 left. With just 11 seconds left and trailing by four, McMahon was fouled on a three-point attempt, but made just two of the free-throws.
It was little stuff all night.
“Too many little things,” said Quentin Snider, who led the team with 18 points on 6 of 15 shooting. “It’s frustrating. We’ve just got to get back in practice and work on things. And we will. Practice is going to be fun tomorrow. We’re playing good enough defense to win. We played good to start the second half when we were trying to get to the rim. We’re good on defense when we trust each other. We’ve got to keep working.”
Mahmoud, who finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocked shots, said he feels like the tea is close. “This is the way it is in conference,” he said. “You have to find a way to win close games, because that’s the way every game is.”
Louisville had just eight assists with 27 field goals, meaning that players were again doing things one-on-one instead of creating for each other. Deng Adel had a rough offensive night with 13 points on 4 of 16 shooting.
And, of course, let’s not forget that Louisville scored two of Miami’s points in the first half, officially credited as a “team” basket in the boxscore with the notation: “points scored by the other team (wrong basket).” Miami also got two points in the second half when Dewan Huell jammed home a miss that was still in the cylinder. Padgett prosteted, but the play was not reviewable.
“It looked from my end like it was still on the rim,” Padgett said. “But I’m at the other end of the court, and it never comes down to one play, anyway.”
He’s right, it comes down to a handful. And Louisville has to find a way to make that handful better.
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