With a depleted roster that had just seven scholarship players available, the University of Louisville needed a near-perfect performance to win on the road at Virginia on Monday night.
Well, it wasn't close to perfect.
The Cardinals led 34-32 at halftime but hit just 6 of 24 from the field in the second half and were outrebounded 38-19 as the Cavaliers won for a fifth time in six meeting between the two schools in the last three years, beating U of L 71-55.
U of L was without injured Quentin Snider and Tony Hicks and also suspended senior Mangok Mathiang and sophomore Deng Adel. The latter two players broke a curfew on Saturday night and didn't make the trip.
After cutting a seven-point lead to two in the final minutes of the first half, Virginia opened the second half with a 16-3 run. Louisville made just 6 of 24 shots in the second half, while Virginia shot 54 percent for the game.
MVP of the game
VJ King had a great offensive game for the Cardinals, hitting 8 of 14 from the field and scoring a career-high 24 points.
The freshman was 3 of 5 from three-point range and 5 of 6 from the free-throw line. He also had three rebounds and one steal and just two turnovers in 37 minutes of action.
King made two more field goals than the rest of his teammates not named Donovan Mitchell.
***Donovan Mitchell took a couple of challenged shots in the first half and was 0-for-5 from three-point range, but finished with 16 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists in 38 minutes.
***The four spot - Jaylen Johnson and Ray Spalding - combined for just seven points and five rebounds. Johnson had four points and no rebounds in 24 minutes of action.
***The Cardinals were not only outrebounded 39-18 but were outscored 32-22 on points in the paint. U of L was just 5 of 16 on layups.
Up next . . .
Louisville should have Adel and Mathiang back and could have point guard Quentin Snider back on Saturday.
The Cardinals will play host to Miami at 2 p.m.