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Offense sizzles, but Louisville still falls short at No. 19 Miami, 93-85

The Cardinals lost despite shooting nearly 58 percent from the field.

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Miami (FL) Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville put a bit of a scare into No. 19 Miami before ultimately falling, 93-85, Saturday night in Coral Gables.

The Cardinals lost despite shooting a season-best 57.9 percent from the field as a team, and despite getting a career-high 33 points from El Ellis.

Ultimately, Louisville was doomed by slow starts to both halves. The Cards allowed Miami to score the first 10 points of the game before fighting back to trail by just one at the break. U of L then failed to carry that momentum over to the second frame, as the quickly allowed the Hurricane lead to balloon back to 11.

The Cardinals fought back valiantly in both instances, but not enough to hand the 19th-ranked team in the country its first home loss of the season.

Ellis led a U of L team that was as effective on offense as it’s been since a 94-point explosion against Western Kentucky in December. Jae’Lyn Withers was 4-of-6 from three on his way to an 18-point performance, while Kamari Lands came o ff the bench to drill 3-of-4 triples and score 13 points. As a team, the Cardinals were 10-of-23 from beyond the arc.

Nijel Pack scored 22 points to lead a trio of Miami players who topped the 20-point mark. Norchad Omier and Isaiah Wong each added 21.

Though Louisville’s 12 turnovers were below their season average, they still resulted in a huge 20 points for Miami. The Cardinals could counter with just four points off six Hurricane giveaways.

Entering Saturday night, Louisville had been 218-13 over the last 20 seasons and 15-1 over the last three when scoring 80 points or more. This was just the second time this season the Cards eclipsed the 80-point mark.