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Louisville beats No. 19 Virginia Tech for 17th straight time

Louisville beats No. 19 Virginia Tech for 17th straight time

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Make that 17 in a row.

The Louisville men’s basketball team beat 19th-ranked Virginia Tech for the 17th consecutive time Wednesday, fending off the Hokies 73-71 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Virginia Tech has not beaten the Cardinals since a win in February 1991, back when the teams were Metro Conference rivals and Frankie Allen was the Tech coach.

The Hokies cut a 14-point second-half lead to 73-71, but Hunter Cattoor missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Hokies (8-2, 2-1), who trailed the entire second half, saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.

Louisville (8-1, 3-0), which is second in the “others receiving votes” category of the Associated Press Top 25 poll, won its fourth straight game.

Radford graduate transfer Carlik Jones, who was named to the Wooden Award midseason Top 25 watch list earlier in the day, had 17 points, three assists, three rebounds, three steals and three turnovers for the Cardinals.

Redshirt freshman forward Jae’Lyn Withers had 16 points and 12 rebounds off the bench for Louisville. David Johnson had 17 points.

Jalen Cone had 23 points and six 3-pointers off the bench for Virginia Tech.

Leading 36-31 at halftime, Louisville scored the first seven points of the second half to build a 43-31 cushion with 17:32 remaining.

The lead grew to 47-33 with 15:38 to go. Virginia Tech was 1 of 11 from the field in the second half at that point, including 0 of 6 from 3-point range.

Justyn Mutts later made a layup to trim the lead to 61-55, but Johnson and Jones each made two free throws for a 65-55 cushion with 5:47 left.

Cone later made a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 67-62, but Jones answered with a jumper.

Nahiem Alleyne made a jumper to cut the deficit to 69-64 with 3:03 to go, but Jones made two free throws to extend the lead to 71-64.

After Cattoor made a layup with 1:57 left, Quinn Slazinski made one of two free throws for a 72-66 lead.

Cattoor made a jumper and free throw to cut the lead to 72-69 with 1:07 left.

Alleyne stole the ball from Jones with 26 seconds left. Keve Aluma made two free throws to cut the lead to 72-71 with 6.6 seconds to go.

Johnson made one of two free throws to extend the lead to 73-71 with 5.5 seconds left.

Alleyne had 15 points, while Aluma had 11 points and Mutts 10 points.

Thanks in part to three 3-pointers, the Hokies jumped to an 11-0 lead with 17:36 left in the first half. Virginia Tech was 4 of 4 from the field at that point.

But the Cardinals answered with a 23-6 run to grab a 23-17 lead with 7:16 to go in the first half. They led the rest of the game. Louisville began the 23-6 run with nine straight points.

After Cone made a 3-pointer with 12:36 left in the first half, Virginia Tech did not get another basket until Cone sank a 3-pointer with 4:18 to go in the half.

Virginia Tech shot 41.7% from the field in the first half, when it turned the ball over six times.

The Cardinals had 14 points in the paint in the first half to Virginia Tech’s four.

Virginia Tech reserve center John Ojiako, who had yet to play this season because of knee surgery, made his season debut Wednesday.

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