CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami/AP) – Even with a weak second half, No. 9-ranked Louisville beat the Miami Hurricanes 63-55 on Tuesday.
The Cardinals built an early 13-point lead and shot 68 percent in the first half. They made only 31 percent in the second half, which allowed Miami to cut the margin to three points before Louisville dug in.
Terry Rozier scored 22 points abd Montrezl Harrell had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Cardinals (19-3, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who earned their fourth consecutive victory. The Hurricanes (14-8, 4-5) lost their third game in a row and lost for the fifth time at home this season.
Louisville’s Chris Jones had 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 40 minutes. Harrell played 39 minutes and Rozier 38 for the Cardinals, who got points from only four players.
Miami sophomore Davon Reed sank five 3-pointers and tied his career high with 19 points. Tonye Jekiri added 10 points and 10 rebounds, but the Hurricanes shot only 34 percent.
Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez, the Hurricanes’ leading scorers this season, both had tough nights. McClellan scored six points and Rodriguez continued a recent shooting slump, going 2 for 9.
The attendance-challenged Hurricanes drew a noisy crowd of 6,563, and they were on their feet as the home team made its comeback. The Hurricanes trailed 41-28 with 15:30 left, and Reed sank a trio of 3-pointers as they scored nine consecutive points to climb back into the game.
Two free throws by Rodriguez cut Louisville’s lead to 53-50 with 2:06 left, but Louisville’s Wayne Blackshear drove for a basket, and the Cardinals sank eight of 10 free throws in the final 1:12 to seal the win.
Louisville blocked four shots in the first five minutes, which seemed to fluster the Hurricanes as they fell behind 19-6. They cut the margin to six points, but Louisville answered with seven in a row and led 35-26 at halftime.
Louisville: Chinanu Onuaku didn’t take a shot but had three blocks.
Miami: The Hurricanes’ bench outscored Louisville’s reserves 30-0.
Louisville plays at No. 3 Virginia on Saturday.
Miami plays host to Clemson on Sunday.
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