Just two days after dropping a heartbreaker on the road at Syracuse, the #12 Cavaliers (18-5, 8-3 ACC) held serve at home against #4 Louisville, 71-55. London Perrantes led the way for Virginia with 18 points, and Isaiah Wilkins recorded his first career double double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Louisville’s VJ King played a strong game with 24 points on 8-for-14 shooting.
Virginia jumped out to an early lead in the first half, but Louisville found points in the lane and in transition to take a 34-32 lead going into halftime. Virginia was led in the first 20 minutes by London Perrantes with 11 points, but the Hoos had seven turnovers. As a team, the Hoos shot 48% from the field, but were paced by the Cardinals who were 46.7% from the field and 36.4% from three.
All throughout the first half, the Hoos looked sluggish, and the crowd followed suit as Virginia continued to turn the ball over and settle for midrange jumpers. The Hoos got a lift at the end of the first half when Jack Salt rebounded a Perrantes free throw miss and made the tricky lay-up with just six seconds left on the clock to cut Louisville’s lead to two.
Despite being down four scholarship players (injuries and suspensions), Louisville was extremely efficient in the first half, making 10 of their 18 two-point shots and only turning the ball over three times in the first half.
The Hoos retook the lead almost immediately (after a dang turnover in their first possession) in the second half on a three pointer from Perrantes, then extended the gap to 37-34 before Louisville’s Rick Pitino called a timeout with 18:14 remaining. Virginia came out energized in the second half, having more success moving the ball and converting looks on offense.
Jack Salt had a phenomenal game, finishing with four points on 2-for-2 shooting, six rebounds, and a block, and this pretty play:
Hall with the no look to Salt for the dunk. pic.twitter.com/GztB1Ws9A8— Will Ojanen (@WillsWorldMN) February 7, 2017
The Hoos utterly dominated in the second half, holding Louisville to just 21 points on 25% shooting. Virginia out-rebounded the Cardinals 38-19, and finished 32 points in the paint to Louisville’s 22.
Mamadi Diakite had a strong game, finishing with six points on 3-for-3 shooting and two blocks, one of which led to this vicious dunk from Devon Hall:
Next up, the Hoos head to Virginia Tech on Sunday to go for the season sweep of the Hokies. Tip off is at 6:30pm on ESPNU.