LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Quentin Snider was especially eager to contribute for No. 4 Louisville after missing six games with a hip injury. Deng Adel and Mangok Mathiang were just happy to still be around after each was suspended for a game for missing curfew.
All three needed time to make their impact in a stunning comeback that required everybody to make the Cardinals feel normal again.
Snider returned after nearly a month away to score 13 points, including a big 3-pointer with 41 seconds remaining, and Adel and Donovan Mitchell added 18 points each as Louisville rallied past Miami 71-66 on Saturday.
Despite being outscored 34-18 in the paint and shooting just 39 percent, the Cardinals (20-5, 8-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) fought back from a 14-point first-half deficit and finally drew even on Mitchell's 3 with 6:12 left, part of a 13-0 run for a 61-53 lead. Louisville's surge included Adel's four-point play.
Miami rallied to tie it at 61 with 1:56 left before Snider made two free throws and then the long 3 from the left side of the arc as he returned from a six-game absence with a hip injury. Mitchell followed with three free throws before Jaylen Johnson made two with 5 seconds left to seal the hard-fought victory.
"They were the better basketball team tonight," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said of the Hurricanes. "But we showed incredible character to win this game and I'm real, real proud of that. ... We didn't shoot well, we didn't pass well. But then when the game was on the line, we did all of the above."
The Cardinals were obviously elated to win a wild, tense game in which a spectator stormed the court and got near Miami's huddle during a first-half timeout. Most satisfied was Snider, the junior point guard who watched Louisville go 4-2 without him as he recovered from a strained hip flexor.
Especially after scoring his biggest points when Louisville really needed them.
"I just stepped in on the line and (Adel) made a great pass," Snider said of his 3, "and I just stepped up and made the shot."
Louisville guard Quentin Snider talks about his big shot against Miami and other parts of his game after the win. pic.twitter.com/Lkr8Ssp8Uf
— Gary Graves (@GaryBGraves) February 11, 2017
Ja'Quan Newton had 15 points and Bruce Brown added 10 for the Hurricanes (16-8, 6-6), who had won four of five.
Miami: As Louisville struggled from the field for most of the game, the Hurricanes calmly made shots at the beginning and every time the Cardinals seemed to make a run. Initially outscoring the Cardinals 14-0 in the paint on the way to owning that category was a big help, but the 'Canes were just even with Louisville after halftime (12-12). They also shot just 36 percent in the second half, were outrebounded 36-32 and missed several shots down the stretch.
"It kind of see-sawed for a while and they finished a little stronger than we did," coach Jim Larranaga said.
Louisville: The Cardinals played well for one half at Virginia before the absences of Snider, Adel and Mathiang took their toll in a 71-55 loss. The team struggled on both ends for most of the contest before showing their resolve, locking in on defense and making key shots. Mathiang ended up with eight points and seven rebounds, Adel had four 3s and Snider three from long range in their comebacks. The Cardinals improved to 5-0 after losses this season.
"Once we started moving the ball and shots started falling," Adel said, "that's when we came back and our defense stepped up a little bit."
Louisville wing Deng Adel discusses returning from a one-game suspension and trying to help the No 4 Cardinals beat Miami 71-66. pic.twitter.com/CYELzCqPIs
— Gary Graves (@GaryBGraves) February 11, 2017
Louisville's Top 10 status seems assured after it bounced back from the Virginia loss.
SPECTATOR RUSHES COURT
Randall Bolton, 31, faces four charges after storming the court with 7:59 left in the first half. He went between the Ladybirds dancers and near Miami players as they circled on the court before several Louisville Metro Police Department officers quickly chased Bolton down, with one tripping the man before others subdued him near midcourt. No one was injured.
"I glanced up and there was someone, I believe in red, and we don't normally wear red," Larranaga said. "I had asked the coach and they just said it was some fan."
Miami: Hosts Georgia Tech on Wednesday night. The surprising Yellow Jackets have Top 25 wins over ACC co-leaders North Carolina and Florida State along with Notre Dame.
Louisville: Visits Syracuse on Monday night in the first of two games against the Orange in 13 days. The rematch is Feb. 26.
This version corrects Louisville's record after losses this season to 5-0 in the Big Picture.