No. 16 Cardinals deal No. 11 Hokies first home loss

Associated Press • Feb 5, 2019 at 12:43 AM

BLACKSBURG — Ryan McMahon knows No. 16 Louisville’s offense is likely to change, and quickly, when he makes a 3-pointer.

How quickly?

“The next possession,” he said Monday night after scoring 12 points in a span of 83 seconds during a 14-3 second-half run the Cardinals used to pull away for a 72-64 victory over No. 11 Virginia Tech on Monday night. “(Christen Cunningham) and (Dwayne Sutton), they do a great job just when I hit one they keep going back to me until the well is dry.”

McMahon had scored just three points when he made three free throws with 11:53 to play. He then added three 3- pointers, the last with 10:30 left after a 3 by Ty Outlaw for the Hokies, to bolster the Cardinals (17-6, 8-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).

“He does it in practice all the time, so it’s not really a surprise when he makes one or two. You know the next one is going to go in and the next one,” said Jordan Nwora, who along with Sutton added 15 points.

McMahon finished with 17 points, his second-highest total of the season.

“For Ryan to do what he did there in the middle of the second half just took some wind out of their sails,” Cardinals coach Chris Mack said.

It was Louisville’s 15th consecutive victory in the men’s basketball series. Virginia Tech has not beaten its old Metro Conference rival since Feb. 13, 1991.

Kerry Blackshear Jr. scored 21 points and Nickeil Alexander-Walker 17 for the Hokies (18-4, 7-3), who lost for the first time in 12 games at Cassell Coliseum this season.

The Hokies were coming off a record-setting game in which they allowed just nine field goals and 24 points in a 47-24 victory against then-No. 23 North Carolina State, but McMahon accounted for half that total with his blistering second-half display.

The Cardinals reached 24 points on McMahon’s 3- pointer 7:18 before halftime.

Virginia Tech played without second-leading scorer Justin Robinson and reserve forward P.J. Horne. Robinson, who averages 14.4 points per game, has an injured foot. Horne’s injury is undisclosed.

“I thought we hung in there pretty good tonight. We just had too many turnovers in the second half relative to what gives us our best chance to win,” Hokies coach Buzz Williams said.

Ten of the Hokies’ 13 giveaways came after halftime.

Both teams were playing their second game in two days.

Williams used backup point guard Wabissa Bede and fellow guards Alexander-Walker and Ahmed Hill for 40 minutes each in Saturday’s win over N.C. State. While Williams refused to blame their subpar shooting on tired legs, their fatigue showed, especially after halftime.

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