The Hokies' average margin of victory in their last five games has been 0.2, down from 15.1 for the season.
The teams went back-and-forth from that point, exchanging the lead on multiple occasions before the Cardinals made the next run and went up 44-37 on a 3-pointer by Malik Williams. But Louisville sank 12 3-pointers and scored 26 second-chance points in a 94-90 win. Interim coach David Padgett, who took over a program under FBI investigation, has done as well as any coach could in that position. The Cardinals improved to 13-4 and 3-1. The teams will meet again in Blacksburg next month.
Turnovers were a problem for both teams today as the Hokies had 19 while Louisville had 15, numbers that neither coach will see as anywhere close to being acceptable. Meanwhile, the Cardinals had their own momentum after a major comeback win at Florida State this past week. All three players are all shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
"We kind of built on Florida State".
"Not only do they move the ball well and they drive the ball extremely well, but they move off the ball as well", Padgett said. Guard Ryan McMahon scored 10 off the bench, including a 25-foot 3-pointer with 2:31 left that gave Louisville an 85-77 lead.
Louisville shot 52.5% from the field, and were 13-of-23 (56.5%) from three-point range. The Hokies dropped to 13-5 overall and 2-2 in the ACC, while Louisville advanced to 13-4 and 3-1 in the ACC.
Virginia Tech Hokies at Louisville Cardinals Preview 01/13/18
Louisville scored 20 points off Tech's 19 turnovers.
The Hokies shot it pretty well, they stayed out of foul trouble for the most part, and they combatted Louisville's length with speed. It isn't often that a team, especially in the ACC, commits 19 turnovers and leaves the arena with a win.
"I personally turned the ball over too much", said Robinson, who had 23 points. VT's assist numbers were also down with only 11 as though the Hokies had some quality ball movement, their ball movement wasn't as good as it has been the past two games (but better than against Syracuse and UVA).
Kerry Blackshear had a strong first half with 14 points and 6 rebounds, but was quiet offensively in the second half on his way to finishing with 18 points.
If Tech can hold serve, and pick up some ranked wins, it'll be a fringe tournament team.
The Louisville defense will be put to the test, however, against a unsafe Virginia Tech offense. However, Hill wrapped up the half with a 25-footer for the Hokies, pulling them within four, 44-40, at the break. They shot 36.4 percent from 3-point range Saturday. With 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting, Ahmed Hill was the game's high scorer. The Cardinals led the rest of the way.
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