The Miami Hurricanes welcomed the Louisville Cardinals into the Watsco Center on Thursday night as they tried to halt a two game skid. Unfortunately the Canes would once again be competing without any assistance from leading scorer and rebounder Beatrice Mompremier. The 6’4″ redshirt senior appeared on crutches during pre-game warm-ups and removed any doubt about her availability. Her absence was assuredly felt as the Cardinals steamrolled their way to an 87-41 victory.
Kylee Shook got things going, and just four minutes into the first quarter the score stood at Shook 9, Hurricanes 0. A quick Katie Meier staunched the bleeding but the Cardinals juggernaut would maintain its momentum. Yacine Diop, Liz Dixon, and Dana Evans joined the fun and at the end of the first quarter the Cards sported a 15-4 lead that they’d only add to as the game progressed.
Shook’s hot start led her to a 14 point, eight rebound performance that put her among four Cardinals in double figures. Dana Evans led all scorers with 16 while Jaz Jones had 10. Yacine Diop had plenty of minutes and managed 15 points on 7 of 9 from the field.
The Hurricanes drop to 9-6 and 1-3 in ACC play and the timeline for Mompremier’s return is unknown. Things won’t immediately get any easier as Coach Q brings the battle tested Syracuse Orange to Miami this coming Sunday. The one bright spot for the Canes is thanks to back-to-back leading performances from freshman forward Brianna Jackson. Her double-digit performance against Florida State was followed-up tonight with a 13 point tally that led Miami in scoring.
With a lead of 37-16 at the half, Jeff Walz felt comfortable rotating through a dizzying array of lineups. No individual Cardinal would spend more than 30 minutes on the court as every active Louisville player spent at least five minutes in the game. A notable performance came from Mykasa Robinson. In 20 minutes the sophomore managed just four points but contributed much beyond that. Five rebounds, seven assists, and three steals were joined by a mere two fouls and two turnovers. If Robinson’s development continues apace she’ll be a dangerous asset for the Cards in March.
Meanwhile the Wolfpack of N.C. State dropped one to North Carolina and placed Louisville in sole possession of first place in the ACC standings. Jeff Walz now turns his attention to a surprisingly tough Wake Forest team. The Demon Deacons have won three straight in ACC play after dropping their first game to then #24 Miami. The Cards face Wake Forest this Sunday in the KFC Yum! Center at 2:00 p.m.
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