Basketball, Sports

Miami men’s basketball beats Louisville 73-65 in final home game of the regular season

During a timeout with less than 10 minutes remaining in the Hurricanes’ final home game of the season, Head Coach Jim Larrañaga only wanted to talk to one player. Larrañaga pulled redshirt senior point guard Angel Rodriguez aside and told him to lead his team for one final time at the BankUnited Center.

Rodriguez answered the challenge, and the rest of the team followed his lead as No. 12 Miami beat No.11 Louisville 73-65 in front of 7,342 screaming fans on Senior Day Saturday afternoon.

“I stopped Angel as he came off the court and told him, ‘Listen, you need to show everybody in this arena how hard you’re willing to play to win this game, how important this game is to you, and your teammates will follow,’” Larrañaga said. “’I want you to pick up their point guard full court and play with great defensive intensity. And you’ll see what happens.’ From that moment on he was absolutely sensational.”

Rodriguez tied junior Davon Reed for a game-high 17 points to go with seven assists and five rebounds. Rodriguez and fellow redshirt senior guard Sheldon McClellan held guards Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, Louisville’s leading scorers coming into the game, to 19 points on a combined 8-of-23 shooting.

Redshirt senior guard Angel Rodriguez jumps for an uncontested layup during Saturday afternoon's men's basketball game against Louisville. The Hurricanes defeated the Cardinals 73-65. Nick Gangemi // Editor-in-Chief

Redshirt senior guard Angel Rodriguez jumps for an uncontested layup during Saturday afternoon’s men’s basketball game against Louisville. The Hurricanes defeated the Cardinals 73-65. Nick Gangemi // Editor-in-Chief

“As a player sometimes you just don’t realize a lot of important things that you do for your team,” Rodriguez said. “I always forget how much of an influence it is when I pressure the ball, when I play so hard on defense. It really makes the team go harder and I did that in the second half, and the team responded just like Coach L told me they would.”

Following that crucial timeout, Miami dominated Louisville the rest of the way. The Canes closed the final 4:50 of the game on a 15-3 run. Louisville (22-7, 11-5) went 1-of-12 down the stretch.

“Led us to a win, basically,” McClellan said of Rodriguez. “He changed the game for us with his tempo. He does it all for us. We really feed off his energy.”

Rodriguez scored the team’s first seven points of the second half following a 6-0 run by Louisville. A wide-open three from the right corner by Reed with 41 seconds left put the Canes up 68-62, and sent the BUC into an early celebration. The Canes (23-5, 12-4) finished the regular season with just a single loss at home, which came on a buzzer-beater by Northeastern back in November.

The Canes trailed 38-36 at halftime despite shooting a scalding 59 percent from the field. The Cardinals kept up with Miami’s hot shooting, making 58 percent of their field goals. Neither team led by more than five as Miami or Louisville knocked down another shot every time one side tried to pull away.

Rodriguez scored five points and dished five assists in the first eight minutes of the game. Miami’s quick ball movement and drive-and-kick game led to wide-open looks from the outside. The Canes went 5-of-7 on threes against Louisville’s tough zone defense. The Cardinals came into the matchup with the No. 1 defense in the country, according to kenpom.com.

The Canes next play No. 23 Notre Dame at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in Indiana.

February 27, 2016

Reporters

Mark Singer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Hurricanes fans, get out your pencils, calendars and a list of your favorite hotels. The Atlantic Co ...

Three former Miami Hurricanes — defensive lineman Chad Thomas, offensive lineman KC McDermott and de ...

In all technicality, the Orange Bowl is a postseason, neutral-site bowl game that includes a top tea ...

When it comes to recruiting, the scariest sentence for Miami Hurricanes fans is this one: Nesta Silv ...

This time, there was no miracle Miami win over Duke. The fifth-ranked Blue Devils rallied from a 13- ...

Global and local efforts needed to respond to biological threats, UM President Julio Frenk warned at ...

As artificial Intelligence takes hold, tech visionary David Kenny stresses keeping human values in t ...

UM’s First Black Graduates Project committee visits an iconic D.C. museum for inspiration to create ...

The Beaux Arts Festival of Art debuts at a new site with picture-perfect weather and a panoply of or ...

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for a “Beloved Community” has inspired a number of University of ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team took down Syracuse to record their 750th all-ti ...

Following a promising performance during the fall portion of the 2017-18 campaign, the University of ...

The University of Miami track and field program travels to Texas this week to compete at the Texas T ...

The Miami women's tennis team will begin its 2018 spring season this weekend on its home court. ...

The University of Miami released its 2018 football schedule Wednesday, highlighted by a nationally t ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.