Blacksburg, VA — The No. 12 Louisville Cardinals snapped its losing streak defeating thVirginia Tech Hokies, 88-70.
“I really thought the rest of the team stepped up through three-quarters,” Virginia Tech head coach Kenny Brooks told the media. “We did a good job of competing and playing hard; we’ve gotten back to that the past couple games.”
The No. 12 Louisville Cardinals entered Blacksburg with one thing on its mind: winning. After a two-game losing streak, Louisville looked to bounce back against a very talented Virginia Tech Hokies team.
But, Virginia Tech was not going to let Louisville win on its home court easily. The Hokies are 12-3 at home this season, with losses coming to Florida State, Syracuse and Notre Dame.
From the tip, it was clear this game was going to be a battle for both teams. The first period was a battle for the lead with five ties. But at the end of the first ten minutes, it was Louisville who held a 21-19 advantage.
Samantha Hill struck first for the Hokies firing off a three-pointer.
However, Mariya Moore and Kylee Shook countered with back-to-back triples to give Louisville a 6-3 advantage.
Vanessa Panousis countered as she drove to the bucket for two. However, the Cardinals, with back-to-back scoring from Shook and Myisha Hines-Allen, took a 5 point lead.
Chanette Hicks and Kendyl Brooks added five quick points for the Hokies, tying the match at 10.
Virginia Tech would take a two point lead, but six unanswered points pushed the Cardinals ahead by four.
Shook and Hines-Allen paced the Cardinals in the first period with 5 points apiece, while Hill and Hicks held 14 or Virginia Tech’s 19 points.
The Hokies did not commit a single turnover in the first period, while forcing Louisville to commit three.
The battle for a significant lead continued into the second period. The Hokies were able to keep the score close for much of the second period.
Hicks kicked off the second period for the Hokies, tying the game again, this time at 21.
Durr was able to get the basket to lay the ball in and draw a foul. Durr converted the three-point play and pushed the Cardinals back ahead.
Louisville and Virginia Tech battled for the lead for much of the second period. Scoring from Durr, Sam Fuehring and Jazmine Jones put the Cardinals on a 6-0 run.
Louisville led by as much as 8 points in the second period, but at the half, the score was 40-35 Louisville.
The Cardinals shot 48.6% from the field in the first half connecting on 17 field goals. Hines-Allen led Louisville with 11 points. The Cardinals dominated the glass, holding a 25-16 advantage on the boards.
While Virginia Tech shot 44.1% from the field on 15-34 shooting. The Hokies were led by Hicks who notched 11 points.
Out of the half, Virginia Tech refocused, and the battle for a lead continued. The Hokies forced Louisville to turn the ball over six times. Virginia Tech began to heat up from beyond the arc connecting on three triples in the third period alone. The Hokies outscored the Cardinals 21-18 in the third period.
Shook kicked off the period connecting on a layup giving the Cardinals a 7 point lead. However, scoring from Hicks and Sidney Cook on three straight possessions cut Louisville’s lead to one, 42-41.
Moore followed up with a triple plus a layup to boost the Cardinals’ lead.
Virginia Tech clawed its way back into the game as the Panousis, and Samantha Hill added three triples.
Durr was able to add three quick points for Louisville, but back-to-back scoring from Hicks tied the game at 54 with 2:55 remaining in the third period.
At the end of three, the Cardinals held a slight edge, 58-56.
The Cardinals wore down the Hokies in the final period, holding Virginia Tech to an uncharacteristic three made field goals in the last ten minutes. On the other hand, the Cardinals were able to attack offensively, nailing 12-of-14 from the field, 5-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Louisville sprinted out behind 11 unanswered points with 7:32 left in the game.
Virginia Tech tried to fight back, bringing the score within 6 as Cook was able to convert a three-point play and Diandra DaRose drove for a layup.
But, Louisville responded outscoring the Hokies 19-7 in the final minutes.
Durr’s 14 points (4 triples and a layup) in the final period bolstered Louisville’s lead. The Hokies were unable to stop Durr from knocking down the three-point shot.
Behind a monstrous fourth period, the Cardinals sailed to victory, 88-70.
On his team’s performance in the fourth period, Coach Brooks said, “The fourth quarter just got away from us. We started making some mental errors; give Louisville credit they took advantage of it.”
The Cardinals had four players notch double-figures: Asia Durr paced Louisville with 30 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Mariya Moore racked up 17 points and 11 assists to earn a double-double. Myisha Hines-Allen also earned a double-double with 13 points and 13 boards. Rounding out the top scorers, Sam Fuehring notched her first career double-double grabbing 11 points and 11 rebounds.
For the Hokies, four players grabbed double-digits: Chanette Hicks lead the way for Virginia Tech picking up 19 points, followed by Sidney Cook, who notched 18 points. Samantha Hill tallied 13 points, and Vanessa Panousis added 12.
Louisville returns home to take on the Golden Eagles of Boston College on Sunday, February 12 at 3 PM, while the Hokies hit the road to take on NC State Sunday, February 12 at 2 PM.