Coming off their lone loss of the season, the No. 4 Louisville Cardinals needed its veteran leaders to step up.
Myisha Hines-Allen rose to the occasion.
The senior forward scored a game-high 26 points on 11-of-13 shooting and tallied 11 rebounds to lead Louisville to an 84-74 victory over Miami Thursday afternoon at the Watsco Center in front of 2,706 roaring elementary school students.
“Get back, bounce back,” Hines-Allen said of Louisville’s mindset. “We definitely learned from our last game. You learn from your losses and you learn from your wins, and try not to make the same mistakes in the last game.”
The Cardinals (21-1, 7-1 ACC) are now tied with No. 5 Notre Dame and Virginia for the best conference record in the ACC.
Junior forward/center Emese Hof led the way for Miami (14-7, 4-4 ACC), notching 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting off the bench. It was her third career 20-plus point scoring game and her first in ACC play, and she did it while battling the flu.
“I felt great yesterday, but it kind of bounced back to me this morning,” Hof said. “I wasn’t there mentally, but I really tried my best.”
The Hurricanes, who were on a three-game winning streak, were able to hold national Player of the Year candidate Asia Durr to a season-low seven points on 1-of-7 shooting. Durr failed to make a three-pointer for the first time since March 4, 2016, snapping a 59-game streak.
But Durr had plenty of help, which ultimately doomed UM.
“There’s another head to the two-headed monster and that was Hines-Allen,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “She starts the game, and she’s throwing us around like rag dolls. She just pursues the ball. She earns it.”
Louisville shot an efficient 55 percent and hit 14 of its 21 shots in the second half. Forward Sam Fuehring added 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting while guard Jazmine Jones notched 10 points before fouling out with 6:10 remaining in the contest.
With an 11-rebound performance, Hines-Allen eclipsed 1,000 for her career, becoming just the second player in program history to reach the milestone. She recorded her 10th double-double of the season.
“This game, I knew I had to be aggressive around the rim,” Hines-Allen said. “The way that Sam [Fuehring] and I play off each other is helping this team get better. It’s laying a lot off our guards.”
Freshman Mykea Gray, who leads Miami in points per game, chipped in 12 points but struggled to find a rhythm, finishing 4 of 16 from the floor and 1 of 6 from the perimeter.
Fellow freshman guard Kelsey Marshall had 11 points, while senior forward Erykah Davenport finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, one shy of her fourth consecutive double-double.
Louisville jumped out to an early lead, but Miami was able to cut the deficit to 28-27 with 3:56 remaining in the second quarter. The Cardinals closed out the first half on a 9-3 run, and Durr capped it off with a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer.
Coming out of halftime, Louisville padded its seven-point lead, going up by as many as 13 in the third quarter. The Canes were able to cut the margin to eight with 2:53 remaining in the period, but the Cardinals always had an answer.
Louisville led by as many as 16 points.
The Hurricanes will look to get back on track when they take on the Virginia Tech Hokies at 2 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Cassell Coliseum.
Louisville wraps up the month of January when it returns home to host Wake Forest at 1 p.m. Jan. 28 at the KFC Yum! Center.