After the #6 Cards beat then-#1 Kentucky, they entered ACC play Wednesday night hoping to avenge two double-digit losses to Virginia from last season. However, a poor performance in the first 30 minutes doomed Louisville to a third-straight defeat, losing 61-53.
Matchups between the two teams have always been defensive battles, and the two squads came into the matchup as the two top defensive squads in the nation.
The Virginia defense had the upper hand for most of the game. The first half saw the Cards barely putting any points on the board, missing shots, turning the ball over 11 times and heading into halftime down 36-21.
The Cavaliers’ lead would only increase in the second half, going up by as many as 21 with about 11 minutes left to go, with Louisville unable to provide much of a response. Virginia would outrebound the Cards 31-26, and had 12 assists to Louisville’s seven.
Louisville came to life in the final ten minutes of the game, making a late 20-7 run, playing much better defense while causing several Virginia turnovers and limiting their own mistakes. The turnaround wasn’t enough to overcome the earlier deficit, however.
The Cards only turned the ball over three times in the second half, and both teams would finish with 14 turnovers each.
Despite the losing effort, it was more points than the Cards had scored in either of their two games against the Cavaliers last season. They would shoot 43.2% from field goal range.
Deng Adel, Quentin Snider and Tony Hicks each had eight points for Louisville. Ray Spalding pulled down six rebounds.
The Cards look to turn it around with their last nonconference game of the season against #16 Indiana on Saturday, December 31.<