If any university knows about the three point shot it is Virginia Tech. When the three point shot was implemented into the college game, Wally Lancaster and Bimbo Coles would burn the nets every night. Louisville was on the receiving end of a number of those threes in the old days of the Metro Conference.
Tonight it was the duo of Damion Lee and Trey Lewis making the threes at a high rate for the 16th-ranked Cardinals. Lee was on target from the beginning, leading the Cardinals with a game-high 29 points. Lee hit was 6 – 7 from three point range and made 11 of his 12 free throws.
Lewis has seemingly found his stroke over the past several games after a three game stretch in which he made only 3 of his 29 field goal attempts and was 1 – 16 from three point range. Lewis was huge in the second half against the Hokies scoring 20 of his 22 points. He made 4 of his 7 three point attempts and all 6 of his free throws.
In order to beat the Hokies tonight offense had to be at a premium due to early foul trouble and the Cardinals inability to keep the Hokies out of the lane on defense. Chinanu Onuaku played only 3:15 of the first half after picking up two quick fouls. He saw his streak of six consecutive double-doubles halted after finishing with nine points and five rebounds.
With Onuaku in foul trouble, Jaylen Johnson was the Cardinal on the front line to step up. Johnson scored 11 points, grabbed a game-high 9 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists.
Louisville finished the game shooting 51.9 percent from the field and was 12 – 18 from the three point line.
Virginia Tech led by eight early in the first half, but two threes by Lee and Johnson quickly cut into that lead. The Hokies went 10:23 without a field goal at the end of the first half, but thanks to great free throw shooting, trailed only 38 – 34 at halftime. Virginia Tech was 33 – 38 from the free throw line for the game.
Louisville returns to the KFC Yum Center to face No. 11 Virginia on Saturday at 1:00. They have a short rest after facing the Cavaliers when the No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels invade the Yum Center.