LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Montrezl Harrell had 21 points, 14 rebounds and key free throws in the final minute to give No. 12 Louisville a 55-53 win over Miami on Saturday.
Down 53-52, Louisville’s Terry Rozier tipped Deandre Burnett’s pass into the hands of Harrell with 55 seconds left. That set up Chris Jones’ drive and pass to Harrell on the opposite end. He was fouled on a layup attempt and hit two free throws with 35.6 seconds left to put the Cardinals up for good.
Burnett tried to dribble out of trouble on Miami’s next possession but again turned it over, losing the ball to Harrell. Harrell was fouled with 10 seconds left and hit the first free throw for the game’s final margin.
Jones added 14 of his 17 points in the second half for Louisville (21-6, 9-5 Atlantic Coast Conference). He returned from a one-game suspension.
Sheldon McClellan scored 17 points and Tonye Jekiri added 13 points and 15 rebounds for Miami (17-10, 7-7).
Miami could have won on the final possession but Angel Rodriguez’s 3 with three seconds left was short. The junior point guard finished 1 of 12 from the field.
The Hurricanes led 53-50 with 1:37 remaining after Burnett banked in a runner and later hit two free throws. Wayne Blackshear’s pump fake and 12-foot jumper on the next possession, the last of his 10 points, pulled Louisville within one.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Friday his team “desperately” needed to win in a game with high stakes for both teams. The Cardinals had lost three of their last four while Miami was looking for another top 25 victory to bolster its NCAA tournament credentials.
The Cardinals wiped away a 29-19 halftime deficit with a 17-3 run to the start the half, scoring 12 straight to take their first lead with 14:41 to play. The Cardinals hit four 3s and Jones had 10 points during the stretch, making his return after missing Louisville’s 69-59 loss at Syracuse.
Omar Sherman scored Miami’s first seven points as the Hurricanes jumped out to an early 19-6 lead after Sheldon McClellan’s 3-pointer 7 1/2 minutes into the game.
The Cardinals hit just five of their first 26 shots, missing 10 straight and went scoreless for nearly 7 minutes. Louisville’s frustration showed when Harrell was given a technical foul for throwing the ball off Jekiri’s head with 1:49 left in the first half.
The technical call seemed to spark the Cardinals though as their pressure led to a Harrell dunk on the next possession.
Another McClellan 3 with 43 seconds left in the half again put the Hurricanes up 13, Miami’s biggest lead, before Chris Jones hit Louisville’s first 3 with 19 seconds left. That drew the Cardinals within 10 after shooting 24 percent for the half.
Louisville shot 34 percent (19 of 56) compared to Miami’s 38 percent (21 of 56) but used a 23-13 second-half rebounding edge to help secure the win.
Louisville: The Cardinals had nine steals Saturday after collecting just two in each of their last two games, well below their average of eight per game. . Freshman guard Quentin Snider started for the second consecutive game before quickly giving way to Chris Jones. Snider was scoreless in five minutes after netting a career-high 13 in the loss to Syracuse in Jones’s absence.
Miami: Miami is now 3-4 against Top 25 teams this season. . Center Tonye Jekiri had 15 rebounds for the third straight game.
Louisville: travels to Georgia Tech on Monday.
Miami: hosts Florida State on Wednesday.
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