Inside the Numbers: UVA needs to forget epic loss at UNC

uva basketballA London Perrantes and-one brought UVA to within single digits, at 34-25, 22 seconds into the second half.

The Cavs wouldn’t get out of the twenties against #10 UNC until a Marial Shayok layup more than 13 minutes later.

Yeah. It was that ugly.

Three nights after Duke sequestered the Cavs in a 65-55 loss in Charlottesville, an average North Carolina defense held Virginia to 41 points on 27.8 percent shooting in a 65-41 beatdown Saturday night.

It wasn’t that close, and that’s saying a lot, considering what the ‘Hoos were able to do defensively against the Tar Heels, who were held 22.7 points below their season average.

UVA’s issue wasn’t defense, where UNC scored 1.038 points per possession, after coming in averaging 1.222 points per possession.

It was on the other end. A Virginia team that had come in shooting 39.8 percent from three-point range missed its first 17 from behind the arc, and finished 2-for-20.

Leading scorer London Perrantes was 3-for-10 from the field and 1-for-6 from three-point range.

Shayok had a nice night – 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting. The rest of the team: 9-of-42.

Perrantes had 12, Isaiah Wilkins had seven.

Then you had Darius Thompson with three, Mamadi Diakite, Jack Salt and Jarred Reuter with two each.

And that was it.

Devon Hall put up a big, fat zero, on 0-of-7 shooting, in 29 minutes.

Ty Jerome was 0-of-6 in 15 minutes. Kyle Guy was 0-of-5 in 13 minutes.

As much as you’d like to attribute the lack of production to Carolina, which came in seventh in the ACC in defensive efficiency, suddenly figuring out what it was doing wrong on that end of the floor, it wasn’t that.

Virginia just clanged open shot after open shot after open shot off the rim, off the backboard, in some cases, mixing in a few airballs for posterity.

If anything, this is the silver lining, maybe. A good-shooting Virginia team, which even after the anemic output against Duke this week was still second in the ACC in shooting from the field and from three, has had two awful games in a row against two at-best average defensive teams.

This kind of stuff, we are always told, will even out as the season plays out.

If that is the case, somebody is soon going to be on the wrong end of Virginia shooting 75 percent and scoring 95 points on 59 possessions, because there’s a lot of evening out to be done.

Column by Chris Graham