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Lackluster second half dooms Louisville in 71-55 loss at Virginia


For 20 minutes, it looked as though an overachieving Louisville team was on the verge of pulling off its biggest miracle yet. Then the second half started.

U of L shot just 25.0 percent from the field after halftime and watched as a 34-32 advantage at the break dissolved into yet another lopsided loss to Virginia.

The lone bright spot of the evening for Louisville (outside of the team’s first half play) was V.J. King. The enigmatic freshman scored a career-high 24 points on 8 of 14 shooting from the field. He played nearly the entire game thanks to the absence of Deng Adel, who was suspended along with Mangok Mathiang after breaking curfew Saturday night.

Mathiang’s absence was felt more by Louisville, as Anas Mahmoud scored just two points on 1-of-6 shooting and grabbed only one rebound. Mahmoud’s one rebound was one more than fellow frontcourt starter Jaylen Johnson managed to grab. As a team, Louisville was outrebounded 38-19.

The bad news is that what looked for a while like it might bethe most positive night of the season turned into yet another thrashing. The good news is that it’s at least somewhat understandable given the circumstances, and that these guys aren’t on the schedule again.

This is our official stance.

Mission 16 in a row starts Saturday.