By Matt Bradshaw —
For their ninth win in 11 games, men’s basketball (13-4, 3-1) defeated Virginia Tech (13-5, 2-3) 94-86. The Cardinals shot 57 percent from beyond the arc as they edged the Hokies in a back-and-forth battle.
Deng Adel led all scorers with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Quentin Snider and V. J. King added 19 and 16 points, respectively.
Adel shot the Cardinals out to a quick start in the first half, nailing a trio of 3-pointers.
The Hokies fought back and took control of the game with a 7-0 run. They hit 9 of 11 free throws and forced 13 Cardinal turnovers in the first half.
“Virginia Tech is an incredibly potent offensive team,” said coach David Padgett. “They can drive and shoot the heck out of the ball.”
With Louisville trailing 19-13, Darius Perry subbed in and drained a 3-pointer. He followed on the next possession with a behind-the-back pass to Dwayne Sutton for a basket in the paint.
This put the Cardinals on a 10-0 run. Perry, Sutton and Ryan McMahon led the team on the floor during the run for a 23-19 lead. McMahon scored 10 coming off the bench.
Malik Williams scored from behind the arc for a 44-37 lead with 20 seconds left in the half. Virginia Tech answered with a buzzer-beater 3-pointer to end the period. Louisville led 44-40 at the break.
The Cardinals maintained their lead early in the second half before the Hokies made another 7-0 run. Each time Louisville seemed to pull away, Virginia Tech would answer on the other end of the floor.
With VT leading 72-71, Adel made his fourth 3-pointer of the game to put Louisville ahead. The team hit nine important free throws that kept momentum going as well.
“It didn’t come down to one shot,” said Padgett. “Most importantly, we made our free throws down the stretch.”
The Cardinals kept the lead for the rest of the half and finished with a 94-86 victory over the visitors. Adel had nine points in the final five minutes to put his team in front.
“We did a great job on offense,” said Padgett. “We held off their runs in the second half for a good win.”
U of L travels to South Bend to face Notre Dame on Tuesday, Jan. 16.
You can follow Matt Bradshaw on Twitter @BradMatt8.
Photos by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal