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Inside the Numbers: #9 UVA gets to the line in win over Hokies

uva basketballIn Sunday’s buzzer-beating loss at then-#1 Villanova, UVA got to the free-throw line just three times.

‘Nova, for its part, hoisted 24 charity tosses, making the game the third this season in which a Virginia opponent had 24 or more attempts and the Cavs had five or less.

Going into Wednesday’s game with in-state rival Virginia Tech, you would have been safe assuming that any free-throw advantage would go to the Hokies, who’d had an aggregate 142 more free-throw attempts than their opponents.

Final tally for Wednesday night: Virginia had 21 free-throw attempts, making 16, while Tech was 15-of-20 from the line.

A key: getting the ball into the lane.

Virginia had 14 field-goal attempts at the rim on the night to Virginia Tech’s 12, and finished with a 26-22 advantage in points in the paint.

A big part of that was the Cavs’ prowess on the glass, where they had a 37-22 advantage, including an 11-3 edge in offensive rebounds and an 18-3 margin in second-chance points.

 

Rotation stuff

Tony Bennett’s rotation flexibility was on full display again in the win.

Starting five Jack Salt was only on the floor for 10 minutes because of foul trouble. Jared Reuter, who didn’t get into the game in the loss at Villanova on Sunday, was the first Cav off the bench on Wednesday, and ended up getting 13 minutes, scoring four points and pulling down five rebounds.

Mamadi Diakite got two garbage-time minutes. The bulk of the frontcourt time, thus, went to Isaiah Wilkins, who had 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting and nine rebounds in 31 minutes.

That’s a sum total of 56 minutes for the bigs, meaning a guard was moved over to play the four for 24 of the 40 minutes of game action.

 

Wilkins: The man

Speaking of Wilkins … he’s like butter, in that he’s on a roll.

Over his last three games, Wilkins is averaging 13.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game on 65.2 percent shooting.

 

Big minutes for the young guys, at Thompson’s expense

The emergence of Ty Jerome continued. The freshman averaged five minutes a game in his first six ACC games, but he’s averaged 15.2 minutes a game over his last six games (including the Villanova game), and he had seven points, two assists and no turnovers in 24 minutes on Wednesday.

Over his last three, Jerome is averaging 10.0 points a game on 61.1 percent shooting.

Kyle Guy is still struggling, scoring three points Wednesday night, but he logged 17 minutes, 11 in the first half.

The minutes going to the young guys are coming at the expense of Darius Thompson, who got a season-low seven minutes Wednesday night, scoring two points.

Compiled by Chris Graham

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