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No. 12 Miami uses defense to shut down No. 11 Louisville

Tonye Jekiri, Raymond Spalding

Louisville forward Raymond Spalding (13) looks for an open teammate past Miami center Tonye Jekiri (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


No. 12 Miami used its defense to slow down No. 11 Louisville down the stretch in a 73-65 ACC home win on Saturday afternoon. The win keeps Miami in the ACC regular season championship race, as they await the results of North Carolina and Virginia later tonight.

Playing their first game without sixth man Ja’Quan Newton, the Hurricanes used a defensive stretch of allowing only one Louisville field goal in the final 5:11 to secure the win.

Miami (23-5, 12-4) went on a 10-0 run late in the game as Angel Rodriguez (17 points) and Davon Reed (17 points) both made some big scoring plays in the second half to help push the Hurricane offense. The defense also played inspired ball over the final five minutes as they clamped down and forced a lot of contested perimeter looks.

With a schedule of road games at Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, Miami has some winnable games to stay in the ACC regular season title race. The win also means Miami has a home-court winning streak of 12 games and they used that to their advantage this week with wins over Virginia and Louisville. Those two wins will look good come selection Sunday.

Louisville (22-7, 11-5) could be out of the ACC regular season title picture with this loss, which is really what they were playing for at this point. The stretch of nearly five minutes without points late in the game saw their offense grow stagnant and their jump shooters couldn’t get much going. The Cardinals desperately needed someone to step up and take the scoring burden but nobody was up to it. Quentin Snider led Louisville with 14 points while Trey Lewis had 13 points.