The No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers overcame a poor three-point shooting performance and a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat No. 18 Louisville, 64-52, on the road. With the win, Virginia improved to 12-2 in the ACC and 24-2 overall on the season. It’s Virginia’s ninth win in 10 tries and eighth straight against the Cardinals. The Cards fell to 18-10 (9-6 ACC).
De’Andre Hunter led the Hoos with a career-high 26 points in the win, and Jay Huff added 12 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. Mamadi Diakite was outstanding, playing 31 minutes and scoring 14 points, grabbing five rebounds, and blocking three shots.
Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome were off, combining for 12 points on 4-for-20 shooting and 0-for-11 shooting from three. Guy had eight rebounds and three assists in the game, and Jerome had four assists and five rebounds.
As a team, the Hoos shot 47% from the field despite a 2-for-17 (12%) mark from three. After struggling with turnovers the last few games. Virginia tightened it all up with only five total TOs in the game.
Louisville got out to a 10-point halftime thanks to 10-for-16 shooting behind the arc in the first half, but the Cards settled in the second half, going 2-for-17. Overall, the Cards shot 31% from the field and 36% from three. Jordan Nwora led the Cards with 17 points, followed by Ryan McMahon, whose 12 points all came in the first half.
Virginia missed its first six shots of the game, despite getting good looks at the bucket. The first field goal of the game didn’t come until the 16:17 mark when Sutton added a three-pointer to give the Cardinals a 5-0 lead. Hunter broke the drought for the Hoos with a layup, but another three from Sutton put Louisville up by six.
Another Hunter jumper was answered with a three from Christen Cunningham to give Louisville an 11-4 advantage before Guy called his own number with a strong take in the lane. Guy and Diakite combined for a takeaway on the defensive end, and Diakite made it a three point game with a layup.
Two more free throws — this time from Jordan Nwora — gave the Cardinals a five-point advantage until Diakite kissed one off the glass to make it 13-10 with 12:48 to play. Louisville hit its fourth three of the half with Nwora getting in on the action to push the advantage back to six points.
Hunter almost horribly mis-managed a fast break, but got the layup through the contact and converted the three-point play to make it 16-13. Louisville responded with three straight made threes, jumping out to a 25-13 advantage with 8:42 remaining. An alley-oop from Kihei Clark to Jay Huff cut the deficit to 10, and Huff drew a foul on the other end to give Virginia a chance to close the gap further.
Virginia responded with a 8-0 run of their own over the next 3:59 of the game to close within four at 25-21 with 4:22 to play in the first half. Huff and Diakite each had two baskets in the stretch. Ryan McMahon ended the UVA run with his second three-pointer of the day, Huff made a nice play for a turnaround two, and McMahon connected on another to push Lousiville’s lead to 31-23. One free throw from Nwora and a jumper from Cunningham gave the Cardinals an 11-point lead with 1:22 left in the half.
Back-to-back scores from Huff (one dunk and one layup) cut the lead to seven, but Louisville’s good luck continued as Nwora hit a banked-in three over Diakite’s outstretched arm to end the half and send the two squads into the break with the Cards leading 37-27.
Louisville shot 10-for-16 from three and 5-for-6 from the free throw line as the Cards made just one two-point bucket in the half. McMahon (4-for-4 from three) and Nwora led the Cardinals with 12 points apiece, and Sutton added eight. The Cardinals shot 44% from the field in the first half.
Conversely, Virginia went 0-for-11 from beyond the arc in the first half as no one for the Cavaliers could get a shot to drop. Huff led the Hoos with 10 points, followed by eight for Diakite. The Hoos shot 38% from the field despite the abysmal three-point shooting, and only turned the ball over once.
Louisville got the first bucket of the second half, but Hunter answered with a definitive slam to keep the differential at 10. Ty Jerome broke into the scoring column with a running layup in the lane, and — after a three-point miss from Louisville — Hunter cut it to six with a layup.
Nwora shook Diakite for a shot in the lane, but Hunter responded with Virginia’s first three-pointer of the game to make it 41-36 with just over 16 minutes to play. Jerome missed Virginia’s next shot, but the Hoos stole it right back, and Clark found Hunter for an and-one to cut it to two points.
Louisville missed a three, and Huff tied things up at 41 with another dunk and assist from Clark. After some back and forth action, Nwora broke the tie with a three ball to give the advantage back to the Cards. Jerome found Diakite for a dunk to cut the deficit to one, but a three from Enoch made it 47-43 with 11:37 to play.
Jerome got a jumper to go to make it 47-45, but couldn’t take the lead after Guy’s three ball hit the rim. Louisville came up empty on their next possession, and Hunter earned a trip to the free throw line with a chance to tie the game once again. Hunter hit both to knot things at 47 with 9:39 to play.
Guy gave Virginia the lead for the first time of the game on the Hoos’ next possession with a driving layup. On the next defensive possession, Diakite drew a charge from Nwora. Louisville head coach Chris Mack took exception to the call, thinking Diakite’s heel was in the restricted area. He was assessed a technical, and Hunter made both to give Virginia a 51-47 advantage.
Huff was called for a foul on the other end, and Malik Williams made one-of-two at the line to get back within three. Guy pushed it back to five points with two free throws, and Louisville couldn’t get a three to drop with three seconds left on the shot clock.
A long two from Hunter was answered with a layup from Cunningham to keep the 55-50 advantage with 6:20 to play. Outstanding defense from Diakite frustrated Steven Enoch into a miss, and Hunter corralled the rebound and buried a three on the other end to push Virginia’s advantage to eight with just under five minutes to play.
Despite four attempts at the bucket, Louisville couldn’t get a shot to drop and Guy pulled down his seventh rebound of the game. He was fouled and made both at the line to give Virginia a 10-point lead with 4:07 remaining. Louisville came up empty on it’s next trip, and a dunk from Diakite made it 62-50.