LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The No.19 Virginia Tech men’s basketball team fell in a second-half heartbreaker to No. 25 Louisville 73-71 inside the KFC Yum! Center Wednesday evening.
Louisville (8-1, 3-0 ACC) extended its streak to 17 straight wins against the Hokies (8-2, 2-1 ACC). Mike Young fell to 0-2 versus the Cards and 1-3 against head coach Chris Mack.
Jalen Cone led the Hokies with 23 points, a career-high beating his previous of 18 against Longwood. Cone contributed six of the Hokies’ 10 treys. Nahiem Alleyne had 15 points for Tech, and Keve Aluma contributed 11 points. Justyn Mutts scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds. The Hokies shot 80% (16 of 20) from the free-throw line and 42.6% overall.
Defensively, Alleyne led the Hokies with seven steals. Tech capitalized on Louisville’s 12 turnovers by scoring 13 points.
The Cardinals outshot Tech by hitting 47.3% of their shots from the floo. Louisville’s Carlik Jones and David Johnson both picked up 17 points and Jae’Lyn Withers scored 16.
The Hokies came out strong by jumping out to an 11-0 lead. The run began with a jumper from Aluma and ended with two 3’threes from Mutts. The Cards responded with a nine-point run, and after that the teams went back and forth for the remainder of the half, which ended with the Cardinals in the lead 36-31.
Louisville started the second half with a 7-0 run to go up 43-31 and went on to up their margin to 14 points, their biggest lead of the game. The Hokies chipped away at the Cards with several small runs through the half. Cone scored 12 points in the climb back into the game.
With six seconds left, Aluma made two free throws to cut the Cardinals’ lead to one. After a Hokie foul, Louisville’s Johnson made a free throw to maintain the lead, and the Cardinals held on to hand the Hokies their first ACC loss of the season.
– The Hokies’ bench outscored Louisville 30-17.
– Tech outscored Louisville in points off turnovers 13-12
– Louisville was able to outscore the Hokies in points in the paint (20-30), fastbreak points (2-8) and second-chance points (5-15)
– The Hokies were able to secure more 3-point field goals (9-6), but the Cardinals outnumbered the Hokies (23-26) from inside the arc.
The Hokies will host Notre Dame (3-6, 0-3) at 6 p.m. today, Jan. 9, at Carilion Clinic Court at Cassell Coliseum with coverage available through the ACC Network.