LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Deng Adel had a career-high 27 points, scoring seven consecutive during a critical second-half stretch that put Louisville ahead, and made two big defensive plays to help the Cardinals beat Virginia Tech 94-86 on Saturday.
The junior forward's 3-pointer with 5:28 remaining gave Louisville a 74-72 lead before he added two free throws and one-handed basket to make it 80-76. Adel then grabbed a key defensive rebound before blocking Justin Robinson's shot, followed by another big rebound to finish with a season-high 11 boards.
DMV POWER RANKINGS: HOKIES REMAIN A TOP TWO TEAM... FOR NOW
Ray Spalding and Ryan McMahon combined for the next seven points, Quentin Snider (19 points) added six free throws and V.J. King (16 points) one as the Cardinals (13-4, 3-1) held off the Hokies for their second consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference victory.
Robinson had 23 points, Kerry Blackshear Jr. 19 and Ahmed Hill 17 for Virginia Tech (13-5, 2-3), which shot 49 percent but committed 19 turnovers.
The back-and-forth game featured 17 lead changes and 10 ties.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies did everything as expected as the nation's top-shooting team and stayed close by making 18 of 22 at the line. But they couldn't get needed plays down the stretch and came up short in their second trip to Kentucky in a month. Tech lost 93-86 at Kentucky on Dec. 16.
Louisville: It's been nearly a month since the Cardinals reached double digits in 3-pointers, and all 13 on 23 attempts were needed to counter the high-scoring Hokies. Adel led the way, making 4 of 6 from long range. Ryan McMahon added two key 3s for 10 points. Their 11 steals were also critical, among 19 turnovers they forced for 20 points.
After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.
Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.
Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing. At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.
Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.
Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.
Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.
Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.
MORE HOYAS STORIES:
The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.
On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.
From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.
MORE NCAA: TOP BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).
NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.
Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson
Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.
It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.
On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.