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#8 Wisconsin bludgeons punchless UVa. basketball, 48-38

You don’t lose a lot of games holding your opponents to 28.8 percent shooting and 48 points. If you’re UVa. or anybody else, you’re not going to win any game missing 33 of your last 38 shots and scoring 38 points.

#8 Wisconsin bludgeoned Virginia at its own game in an ugly-for-both-teams 48-38 final Wednesday in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge.

Virginia (7-2) came out of the gates scorching hot from the field, hitting six of its first nine shots, but the Badgers stepped up on defense, holding Virginia to seven points in the final 13:08 of the first half en route to posting a 25-20 halftime lead.

Wisconsin (9-0) led by as many as 14 midway through the second half before UVa. made a couple of modest runs, eventually cutting the margin to six at 44-38 on a pair of free throws by Anthony Gill with 1:39 to play.

But that was as close as it would get.

Virginia finished the game shooting just 23.4 percent from the field (11-for-47) while making just one three-pointer in 11 attempts.

Freshman point guard London Perrantes led the Cavs with eight points. Senior Joe Harris had just two points on 1-of-10 shooting, the made basket coming on an early-first-half layup.

Badgers guard Josh Gasser was the only player in the game for either team to reach double figures in scoring with 11 points. Frank Kaminsky had nine points and 12 rebounds for Wisconsin.


Team Notes
• Virginia’s 23.4% field goal percentage (11-47) was its fourth-lowest in school history
• The Cavaliers’ 38 points were their lowest during the Tony Bennett era and second fewest in the shot clock era (since 1986)
• Virginia failed to have a double-figure scorer for the first time since Jan. 27, 2011 vs. Maryland
• Virginia trailed at the half for the first time this season (trailed 25-20)
• The Cavaliers’ 20 first-half points were their fewest at halftime since scoring 19 first-half points vs. Maryland on Mar. 10, 2013 (rallied to win 61-58 in OT)
• Virginia went without a field goal for 11:10 during the end of the first half and start of the second half and went scoreless for 6:50 of that span

Virginia Record Book
• Joe Harris (1,356 pts) moved into 23rd place on Virginia’s career scoring list, tying Elton Brown (1,356 pts, 2002-05)

John Paul Jones Arena Records
• Virginia’s 38 points were its fewest at John Paul Jones Arena

Big Ten/ACC Challenge Notes
• Virginia’s 38 points are the fewest ever scored in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game (previous low: 42, NC State vs. Iowa, 2005)
• The 86 combined points are the fewest in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game (previous low: 87, Iowa def. NC State 45-42 in 2005)
• Virginia’s three-game winning streak in the Challenge ended
• Virginia is 8-6 all-time in the Challenge


Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the offense: “I thought we lost our composure a little bit. We had some opportunities to finish, but we didn’t.  I think Wisconsin did to us, in a way, what we did to them last year. Last year we outlasted them a little bit. When it mattered, they were sounder, more poised, and made plays.”

On playing inside: “There are times we had some looks to throw it inside and we were unwilling to just pound it inside and make them guard us in there, so that maybe our other big guy could get on the glass. I don’t know how many times we were up there to grab a ball and just couldn’t. We didn’t have quite as many opportunities for Mike [Tobey] or Anthony [Gill].

On the defense: “I like to have either Darion [Atkins] or Akil [Mitchell] out there because they give us mobility. They both were very good last year. Defensively they are quick and good on the glass. They cover ball-screens and can get back. Anthony defensively is a little behind right now compared to those two. Our defense softened a little bit. A break down in this game was detrimental, we just could not afford it and just could not capitalize offensively.”

On missed shots: “We look at the quality of shots, and talked about trying to go inside. We were fairly patient. Sometimes guys got right in front of the rim. We tried to say get to the line, but it seemed like nothing was working. We told them to stay in there, don’t let down defensively, you will get a good look and get things going, but it just didn’t happen tonight.”

On Joe Harris’ shooting: “He got a couple of looks. One was over the basket, which he usually doesn’t do. He said ‘my shots are not working so I am going to try to put my head down’ – and that wasn’t working. They were waiting for him in the lane and sealing every alley to the rim. They made him shoot a lot of contested shots. He was a bit out of sorts largely due to their defense, but I think he would agree that he was not where he needed to be.”

On playing Wisconsin: “I knew playing Wisconsin you are going to have to work to get stuff. They are going to be patient. They were more patient tonight than I have seen them all year. Our defense was set and we made them work, but they are not going to beat themselves. We have some warts as every team does, and when all of the guys go cold at once it is hard. Our depth was not what it has been so far.”


Virginia Forward Akil Mitchell

On the offensive performance: “It was frustrating offensively, things just weren’t working for us out there.”

On the overall team’s struggles: “Everyone is going to through slumps and you are going to have cold streaks some nights.  We were trying to force a little too much and we got outside what we do best. It happens sometimes.”

On Joe Harris: “It happens, guys have off nights.  It wasn’t just Joe though, it was everybody forcing the issue.”

On losing to ranked teams (VCU/Wisconsin): “We have to face every opponent like they are a ranked team. It was two good teams that we lost to, and two teams that we thought we should have beaten, but we just fell short so we now need to move on to the next one.”


Virginia Guard Joe Harris

On the offensive performance: “Credit to Wisconsin, I thought they did a nice job defensively.  They did not overwhelm me with their defensive pressure, they were very sound, a fundamentally solid defensive team.

On Wisconsin’s game plan coming into the game: “We will go back, watch the tape and see where we went wrong.  But I think that we got out toughed and outworked.  It was similar to what we did to them last year in Wisconsin, making it tough on them defensively, having them grind. They came in and did the exact same thing to us.”

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