Vir­ginia Tech shoots 59 per­cent yet still falls to No. 8 Louisville, 94-90.

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY STEVE BITTENBENDER

louisville — Louisville’s 1,800th vic­tory was one for the books.

On a day when both teams were so hot from the field that Vir­ginia Tech Coach Buzz Wil­liams changed shirts at half­time, Dono­van Mitchell had 26 points to lead the eighth-ranked Car­di­nals past the Hok­ies, 94-90, on Satur­day.

Both Mitchell, a sopho­more guard, and the Car­di­nals’ inside game stood out.

Mitchell con­nected on his first six shots, in­clud­ing three three­p­oint­ers, en route to go­ing 8 for 13 from the field and 5 for 7 from the be­yond the arc. He led an ef­fort that saw Louisville (22-5, 10-4 ACC) shoot 51.5 per­cent from the field and 12 for 22 on three-pointers.

The Car­di­nals needed that as Vir­ginia Tech (18-8, 7-7) man­aged to shoot 59.2 per­cent from the field, in­clud­ing 65.4 per­cent (17 of 26) from be­yond the arc.

The Hok­ies, who set a KFC Yum! Cen­ter vis­i­tors’ record with their 90 points, also made the most three-pointers against the Car­di­nals since they beat West Vir­ginia in the 2005 Elite Eight.

“Ev­ery team is go­ing to fight. Even the teams who are at the bot­tom of the ACC are go­ing to fight,” Mitchell said. “Every­body is fight­ing to make the tour­na­ment. We’re go­ing to get ev­ery team’s best shot be­ing a ranked team be­cause if they beat a [ranked team] there is a good chance that will get them into the tour­na­ment.”

The dif­fer­ence ended up be­ing the 19 ex­tra shots the Car­di­nals re­ceived by us­ing the glass to their ad­van­tage.

They out­re­bounded the Hok­ies 33-25, with 16 com­ing on the of­fen­sive end. That al­lowed Louisville to en­joy a 26-3 edge in sec­ond-chance scor­ing.

“I think if we don’t have a hot shoot­ing night, they beat us by 40,” said Wil­liams, wear­ing the or­ange Vir­ginia Tech T-shirt he switched to in the sec­ond half af­ter he sweated through his dress shirt. “I think the hot shoot­ing night al­lowed it to be a game.”

Louisville Coach Rick Pitino said he hated to win solely on of­fense, but he also knew the Hok­ies, who played four guards, would be a chal­lenge. None­the­less, he ex­pects his team to learn from this win.

“If we don’t start play­ing bet­ter de­fense, we’re all go­ing to be on va­ca­tion early,” he said. “You are go­ing to be cov­er­ing some­one else. If you’re im­pressed with that, you’re not watch­ing the game I’m watch­ing. But that be­ing said, it was a great win.”

Seth Allen led the Hok­ies with 25 points, and Ty Out­law added 19.

Quentin Snider fin­ished with 19 points and Jaylen John­son 16 for Louisville.

By play­ing the Car­di­nals close on the road, the Hok­ies did lit­tle dam­age to their NCAA tour­na­ment rè­sumè, but beat­ing tough teams away from Cas­sell Coli­seum re­mains a chal­lenge. The last win against a ranked team on the road came against Clem­son on Feb. 25, 2009.

With the vic­tory, the Car­di­nals be­came the 10th pro­gram in his­tory to reach 1,800 wins.

In its 103rd sea­son, Louisville’s record stands at 1,800-897.

Vir­ginia Tech will now re­turn home, where it will play Clem­son on Tues­day night.

Louisville will travel to face North Carolina on Wed­nes­day night in the teams’ only reg­u­lar sea­son matchup.

TI­MOTHY D. EASLEY/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Vir­ginia Tech Coach Buzz Wil­liams switched to a Hok­ies T-shirt for the sec­ond half Satur­day af­ter he sweated through his dress shirt.

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