Miami Hurricanes defeat Louisville in the Lonnie Walker show

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 15: Lonnie Walker IV
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 15: Lonnie Walker IV /

The Miami Hurricanes rode a 25-point performance by Lonnie Walker to defeat Louisville 78-75 in overtime at the Watsco Center on Wednesday night. Walker finished one point off his career high.

Walker scored all 25 of his points in regulation. A driving, twisting, acrobatic shot by Walker with four seconds left in regulation tied the game. Louisville’s Deng Adel missed a desperation shot that sent the Cardinals and Miami Hurricanes to overtime.

Walker was exceptional the entire game. He scored 13 in the first half and 12 in the second.

His biggest play of the game came on the defensive end. With the Miami Hurricanes up two Walker blocked Louisville’s Ryan McMahon‘s three-point attempt. The Hurricanes got the rebound and Ja’Quan Newton split a pair of free throws to give Miami the 78-75 victory.

Walker was very efficient and was as Clark Kellogg would say a stat sheet stuffer. Walker earned his 25 points by shooting nine of 18 from the floor, four of nine on threes and making all three free throws. Walker also added four rebounds, three assists, two steals and the one big block.

Miami got the win in spite of another subpar shooting performance from Bruce Brown. Brown shot just 2-10 from the floor and 4-8 from the free throw line to finish with eight points.

Brown didn’t make his first shot from the field until he hit a jumper with 32 seconds remaining in regulation to give Miami a 68-67 lead. His second and final basket with 1:17 remaining in overtime tied the game at 71. Those were Miami’s first points in overtime and the first field goal of the overtime for either team.

Brown did play a good all-around floor game. He finished with 11 rebounds, two assists, three steals and three blocks. Miami needs Brown to be more consistent scoring the basketball. Louisville was the fourth team in the last six games to hold the Sophomore star under ten points.

The game was tight the entire way. Miami’s biggest lead came at 19-13 in the first half. That concluded an 11-0 Hurricanes run. Louisville’s biggest lead was 44-37. That was after the Cardinals scored the first six points of the second half.

Louisville came into the game second in the nation in blocked shots. They were averaging seven per game before facing the Hurricanes. They had ten against Miami. The Hurricanes almost matched that with seven of their own.

After struggling defending the three-point shot the last three games, Miami got back to being one of the nation’s elite defensive teams against Louisville. The Cardinals made just five of their 22 three-point field goal attempts against Miami.

In their last three games, Miami’s opponents were shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc and making ten threes per game. Miami also held the Cardinals to just 41 percent from the floor overall.

Dewan Huell continues to play well for Miami. He had 18 points, 12 rebounds on seven of 10 shooting. Huell entered the game tied for the ACC lead with making 64.2 percent of his field goals.

The Hurricanes received 13 good minutes off the bench from Freshman Sam Waardenburg. The 6’10 New Zealander received the most minutes of his young collegiate career to combat Louisville’s size. It worked as he recorded seven rebounds and a block.

Miami almost lost the game at the free throw line. After shooting the ball well above their 63.9 percentage most of the game, the Hurricanes missed three of the final four free throws in the game.

Next: After two key games Miami Hurricanes 4 straight vs unranked teams

Next game: Miami travels to Florida State for a rematch with the Seminoles. The Hurricanes won the earlier meeting in Coral Gables this month. The Seminoles are 15-5 overall, 4-4 in the ACC. They defeated Georgia Tech 88-77 in Tallahassee on Wednesday night