Louisville coach Rick Pitino usually ends his postgame press conference in about seven to eight minutes. Tonight’s press conference ended in a little over three minutes. His opening statement described exactly why the No. 6 Cardinals lost once again to No. 12 Virginia. Pitino said, “Well, Virginia seems to be our kryptonite. We just don’t play well against them. It takes two skills to play well against Virginia. It takes really good passing, and we were very careless, and it takes very good shooting. We didn’t have either tonight. We had no assists at halftime and guys shooting air balls and guys passing up open shots to ball fake and take a challenged shot. So, shooting, which was not a problem early in the year, in red-white games and early, early play, it has become evident that guys are listening outside the walls of our locker room about their games. And even when you’re successful, it even was a poison pill tonight with our defense. You’ve got to give them all the credit. They played us well. We missed too many free throws. We didn’t pass the ball well enough. We didn’t get to the floor for loose basketballs.”
Virginia opened the game scoring 12 of the game’s first 14 points and never looked back. The Cards would get to within six in the first half, but could not stop the Virginia offense. The Cavaliers took a 36 – 21 lead into the half.
All one had to do is to look at the stat sheet in the first half and could tell that Virginia was in control of the game. They held U of L to 36.8 percent from the field on only 19 field goal attempts. Virginia had only 6 turnovers to Louisville’s 11. However, the most amazing statistic was that the Cards did not garner a single assist.
The second half was no different at least for the first 11 minutes as Virginia opened up a 56 – 35 lead with just over nine minutes left. Then U of L went on a 13 – 1 run over the next 7:08 to cut the Virginia lead to nine, but it was too little and too late as Virginia would close out the game with a 61 – 53 win.
No player for Louisville scored in double figures. Deng Adel, Quentin Snider, and Tony Hicks led the Cards with eight points each. Hicks provided solid play off the bench, but did finish with three turnovers.
U of L fell to 11 – 2 on the season and Virginia improved to 11 – 1. The schedule gets no easier for the Cardinals as they travel to Indianapolis on Saturday to face the No. 16 Indiana Hoosiers.
*Virginia is 4 – 1 against Louisville since the Cards joined the ACC.
*The game featured the nation’s top two defenses according to Ken Pomeroy.
*U of L is now 31 – 5 in December over the last five years.