Walker scores 25 and Miami beats Louisville in OT, 78-75
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Lonnie Walker IV lingered on the court after the Miami Hurricanes’ latest win, chatting with spectators and happy to clock some more overtime.
The freshman scored 25 points, including an acrobatic layup to force an extra period, and Miami edged Louisville 78-75 Wednesday night.
Afterward, Walker was the last player to head for the locker room.
“Definitely had some shared love with fans and friends and family,” he said. “It was definitely a great moment for me.”
The Hurricanes retained a slim lead despite missing 5 of 10 free throws in the final 22 seconds. Walker blocked a 3-point try by Ryan McMahon, and a 30-footer by the Cardinals’ Deng Adel at the final buzzer barely hit the rim.
Miami (15-4, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped Louisville’s four-game win streak. The Cardinals (15-5, 5-2) fell to third place in the conference standings behind No. 2 Virginia and No. 4 Duke.
“That was a highly intense end-to-end game, both teams really going at each other,” Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said.
Louisville shot 0 for 5 in overtime and finished at 42 percent. The Hurricanes won despite shooting 37 percent.
“They made the big plays down the stretch, and we weren’t able to,” Louisville coach David Padgett said. “You’ve got to play darn near perfect to beat them, and we came up a little short.”
Dewan Huell’s dunk on a follow put the Hurricanes ahead to stay, 73-71. Padgett argued in vain that Huell should have been called for goaltending.
“From my vantage point, that’s what it looked like,” Padgett said. “I’m at the other end of the court, so I can’t see. But look, it never comes down to one play.”
Huell conceded the basket could have been waved off.
“Honestly, I thought that was going to be called back,” he said with a laugh. “That was an important bucket.”
So was Walker’s layup with five seconds left to force overtime. He outmaneuvered 7-foot Anas Mahmoud and 6-10 Ray Spalding with a one-handed layup.
“Spectacular,” Larranaga said. “That wasn’t a play designed for him. That was him taking over the game.”
Walker has averaged 18 points in the past four games.
“He’s only scratching the surface of how good he can become,” Larranaga said.
The Hurricanes missed their first six shots in the extra period before Walker fed Bruce Brown Jr. for a fast-break dunk and a tie at 71.
Brown otherwise had a rough night offensively, going 2 for 10 and missing all four 3-point tries. Huell had 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Quentin Snider led Louisville with 18 points in 43 minutes. Mahmoud had 15 points and four blocks off the bench. Spalding, a junior, grabbed 13 rebounds and tied a career high with five blocks.
ON THE BOARD
The taller Cardinals were outrebounded by double digits for the third time this season. Miami had a 49-38 advantage.
“The backboard was pretty much the difference in the game,” Padgett said. “We are struggling to rebound the ball at times. You give them too many chances, they’re going to make you pay for it.”
There were 14 lead changes. Miami overcame a seven-point deficit early in the second half and went ahead 65-62. Louisville regained the lead and was up 69-67 when Mahmoud made one of two free throws with 14 seconds left in regulation.
After Walker tied it, Adel’s off-balance 30-footer at the buzzer bounced off the rim, sending the game into overtime. Adel shot 4 for 16 and finished with 13 points.
OFF THE BENCH
Miami 6-10 freshman Sam Waardenburg joined the rotation to help combat the Cardinals’ size, and he contributed seven rebounds and a block in 13 minutes.
“Sam came in and gave us a huge lift,” Larranaga said.
The loss will likely keep the Cardinals out of the rankings next week.
The Hurricanes, playing as an unranked team for the first time this season, needed a win for a shot at climbing back into the Top 25 next week. They improved to 7-1 at home.
Miami plays Saturday at Florida State. The Hurricanes won 80-74 when the teams met Jan. 7.
Louisville plays four of its next five games at home, including Saturday against Wake Forest.
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