The No. 19 Virginia Tech Hokies traveled to Louisville to face a team they haven’t defeated o the hardwood since the two schools were Metro Conference rivals back in 1991.
Things started well for the Hokies as they jumped out to an 11-0 lead, and it looked like Mike Young’s squad was finally going to solve Louisville.
Unfortunately, Tech went cold from the field, and Louisville got hot. The Hokies would go scoreless for the next eight minutes, allowing the Cardinals to build a lead. Eventually, Louisville would go into halftime with a 36-31 lead.
The Cardinals came out hot in the second half, going on an 11-2 run and building their lead to 14 points. The Hokies were ice-cold to start the second half, but behind sophomore guard, Jalen Cone, slowly started to chip away at the Cardinals’ lead.
Cone came off the bench to lead the Hokies scoring with 23 points, connecting on six of 12 attempts from beyond the arc. The Hokies rallied back and cut Louisville’s lead to 72-71 with under 10 seconds remaining.
Tech would foul Louisville, which would hit one free throw to make it a 73-71 game. The Hokies were going to have a chance to win this one.
Virginia Tech pushed the ball up the floor and found guard Hunter Cattoor in the corner for a three-point attempt to win the game, but the ball rattled off the rime, and the Cardinals survived.
Nahiem Alleyne chipped in with 15 points for the Hokies, while Keve Aluma scored 11 points. Aluma had his worst performance as a Hokie, hitting just three of 10 attempts from the field.
Radford transfer Carlik Jones and David Johnson each scored 17 points to lead Louisville. Freshman forward Jae’Lyn Withers was a force down low for Louisville, scoring 16 points to go along with 12 rebounds.
Louisville has now beaten Virginia Tech 17 consecutive times, and the Cardinals are 7-0 against the Hokies since Louisville joined the ACC.
Next up for the Hokies (8-2, 2-1) is Notre Dame, followed by Duke just two days later. Louisville is now 8-1 on the season and 3-0 in ACC play.