LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Three days after a heartbreaking loss at North Carolina, No. 7 Louisville rebounded in a big way against Virginia Tech.
The Cardinals had three runs of 10 points or more in a 78-63 victory over the Hokies at the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville coach Rick Pitino played his bench for the final 10 minutes of the game.
Louisville (15-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) led by as many as 29 points in the second half.
The Cardinals, who dropped a 72-71 decision to the Tar Heels after leading by 13 points, had four players score in double figures against Virginia Tech.
Guard Terry Rozier led the Cardinals with 16 points, hitting four of six 3-pointers, while forward Wayne Blackshear added 15 points and six rebounds. Center Mangok Mathiang and forward Montrezl Harrell had 11 points and eight rebounds apiece. Point guard Chris Jones contributed seven points, 11 assists and two steals.
Harrell, hampered recently by a thumb injury, shot 4-for-7 against the team he could have played for. He committed and signed with the Hokies but was released and went to Louisville after Seth Greenberg was fired.
Guard Adam Smith led the Hokies (8-8, 0-3) with 19 points.
Virginia Tech shot 36.7 percent from the field, including 42.1 percent (8-for-19) on 3-pointers. The Cardinals made 47.7 percent of their field-goal attempts, and they hit 40 percent (10-for-25) from long range.
Louisville outrebounded the Hokies 40-33 and had 19 assists on 31 made field goals.
The Cardinals used a 12-0 run in the second half to extend the lead to 29 points with 12:34 left in the game before Pitino went to the bench.
Louisville opened a 43-24 lead at halftime with runs of 15-0 and 10-0 in the first 20 minutes.
Mathiang keyed the early 15-0 run that made it 17-2 with eight points in the first six minutes of the game and 10 in the first half.
The Cardinals hit seven of their first 12 shots for the game and held Virginia Tech to two of 10 to start the game. Tech did hit nine of 28 for the half, including three of 10 3-pointers — all three makes in the final eight minutes — and narrowed it to 33-24.
But Louisville ended the half on a 10-0 run, including a 3-pointer off a dish from Jones just before the buzzer by Blackshear.
Blackshear had 10 points and six rebounds in the half for Louisville, which finished 18 of 33 from the field, and outrebounded the Hokies 18-16.
Learn more about betting in Virginia in our Virginia Sports Betting Guide.
NOTES: The meeting between Louisville and Virginia Tech was a rematch of old Metro Conference foes. The series began in 1978, and Louisville leads 29-8, but this was the first meeting between the schools since the dissolution of the Metro in 1995. … Louisville’s 111 victories over the past four years are the most wins in the nation during that stretch. The Cardinals are the only school in the nation with three straight 30-win seasons. .. Luke Hancock, the MVP of the 2013 national championship game for the Cardinals, was visiting for the game. Hancock, who is playing overseas, sat courtside for the contest.
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