By GARY B. GRAVES
AP Sports Writer
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - 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.
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.
Virginia Tech: Hosts Florida State on Saturday.
Louisville: Visits Notre Dame on Tuesday in the lone season meeting between the schools. The Cardinals haven't won in South Bend since Feb. 26, 1994.