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

University of Miami running back Mark Walton was rolling — until he got rolled on, or stepped on. Wa ...

University of Miami safety Sheldrick Redwine got to wear the gaudy (but beautiful to Canes and their ...

For those concerned about the apparent on-field struggles of graduate transfer Dee Delaney, an All-A ...

This week’s Top 25 college-affiliated football polls, released Sunday afternoon, agreed on how to ta ...

A few quick thoughts (or second thoughts) after 14th-ranked UM’s 52-30 win against Toledo on Saturda ...

UM students fan out across South Florida to help local neighborhoods rebound from the impacts of Hur ...

Classes resume on the Coral Gables campus after the removal of 4 million pounds of landscape debris. ...

Students living in residential housing are returning to campus and classes with renewed resolve. ...

UM’s student-run ’Canes Emergency Response Team puts their training into action to assist with recov ...

UM students recount how they rode out the storm called Hurricane Irma. ...

Walton rushes for career-high 204 yards and Rosier has four touchdowns in Miami's comeback vict ...

Junior golfer Dewi Weber highlighted second round action for the University of Miami women's go ...

The Miami Hurricanes swimming team wrapped up its opening weekend of competition at the All-Florida ...

The University of Miami volleyball team outlasted Virginia, 3-2, in Atlantic Coast Conference action ...

Sunday, Sinead Lohan became the first person in Miami women's tennis history to win the singles ...

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.