By Cole Emery —
The No. 5 Louisville Cardinals defeated Virginia Tech in their final game of the year 70-53 at the KFC Yum! Center March 1.
The Cardinals (27-3, 16-2) never trailed during the game, and the Hokies did not score for the first 5:40 of the game. Walk-on senior Jessica Laemmle scored first with a 15-foot jumper. Despite the low amount of scoring, the Cards spread the ball around and assisted on five of their eight made shots for the quarter.
The Hokies (21-8, 11-7) came into the game scoring the second most three-pointers per game in the ACC, but the Cardinals’ powerful defense held Virginia Tech to just three of 15 from three-point range.
Virgina Tech brought their deficit to eight points thanks to a layup from junior Aisha Sheppard, but they did not bring the deficit any closer during the remainder of the game.
Senior Jazmine Jones led the charge for the Cards offensively with 18 points, three assists and two rebounds. Jones entered the game as the fourth best shooter in the nation at 55.1 percent and continued to be an essential piece to this potent Cardinal team.
Junior Dana Evans made her first return since she suffered an ankle injury Feb. 20 against Georgia Tech, and the Cardinals’ leading scorer accounted for 11 points, four assists, two rebounds and a steal off the bench.
Senior Kylee Shook continued to display her prowess with her fifth double-double in six games to finish out the season. One of the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist and ACC leader in blocked shots scored 15 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, assisted three shots, swiped a steal and blocked one shot.
This victory made history for the seniors of the team. They set a school record for most victories in a four-year career with their 124th win.
The Cardinals are taking a lot of momentum into the ACC tournament after finishing with five straight victories to end the regular season.
Louisville will play against the winner of the Syracuse and Virginia game in the quarterfinal of the ACC tournament March 6 at 2:00 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum on the ACC Network.
Photo by Anna Claire Will // The Louisville Cardinal