Slow first half dooms Louisville at Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The University of Louisville fell behind 24-13 at halftime and dropped a 52-47 loss on the road to Virginia on Saturday night. The Cardinals are now 19-4 on the season and 7-3 in the ACC Conference. Here's a recap of some key points of the game:

The University of Louisville played a really good 20 minutes of basketball on Saturday evening in John Paul Jones Arena at the University of Virginia.

Unfortunately, the Cardinals also played what head coach Rick Pitino called a "ridiculous" offensive half in the first 20 minutes.

The Cardinals hit just 4 of 21 from the field in the first 20 minutes, went 10:32 without scoring to end the first half and then couldn't get all the way back into the game, dropping a 52-47 decision to the Cavaliers.

"It's very difficult to come back against this team," Pitino said. "Their defense is awesome. I won't take anything away from them, but our offense was ridiculous. We just didn't run our sets. We didn't move the ball. If you don't do that you're going to make Virginia look like the best defensive team in the history of the game.

"They're terrific. I love their team, I love what they do, but we fed right into the monster and into the crowd."

Louisville trailed by as much as 13 points in the second half and rallied to within 50-47 when Chris Jones hit an acrobatic shot with 18 seconds left. But Jones missed the free throw and Virginia sealed it with a pair of free throws.

"I have to make my free throws," Jones said. "It should have been a two-point game and then we still had a chance. But we just have to learn from this and move on. We have two really big games this week with Pitt and N.C. State."

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Well, this wasn's an easy call.

But let's go with Terry Rozier again. The ACC leader in points only hit 5 of 16 from the field and at times was frustrated, but he finished with 16 points.

Rozier also had five rebounds, five assists and two steals in 37 minutes.

Rozier scored eight of the Cardinals' points in the first half but rushed some shots in the end of the half. He was more patient in the second half in the offense.

KEY RUN OF THE GAME

The Cardinals just couldn't overcome the final 10:32 of the half when Virginia used an 11-0 run to grab a 24-13 lead after 20 minutes.

Louisville missed its final 11 shots of the first half and first two of the second.

"We just needed to relax and run the offense," Jones said. "Once we ran the offense we scored. But we had to just do it."

QUOTABLE

U of L coach Rick Pitino

"I think our guys were anxious to score. They broke the play down and tried to get into the lane. I think they didn't understand how Virginia is good defensively and that the first or second option will not be there. The pick and roll high does not work too well against these guys unless you're going downhill. If you're going east and west it's not going to work."

A FEW TIP INS

*****Louisville ended the game hitting 13 of its final 23 shots.

*****Louisville hasn’t had a point from anyone other than Rozier-Jones-Harrell-Blackshear in 88:15 (Onuaku free throw against UNC).

*****Wayne Blackshear was just 2 of 4 for the day and scored eight straight for the Cardinals in the second half. He finished with eight points and seven rebounds.

*****Louisville turned the ball over 11 times, while UVA had just two miscues.

*****Louisville hit 10 of 13 from the free-throw line and finished 17 of 46 from the field, while UVA was 17 of 51 shooting.

UP NEXT

Louisville has a key week with two home games. The Cardinals host Pittsburgh on Wednesday at 8 o'clock and North Carolina State on Saturday at 4.


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