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Inside the Numbers: UVA tries a little bit of everything in loss at Tech

uva basketballUVA coach Tony Bennett tried mightily to stem the tide that he saw coming in the second half at Virginia Tech Sunday night.

For one possession late in regulation, Bennett actually had his team play a – gasp! – 2-3 zone, and it worked, except that it didn’t, when a Justin Bibbs three-point attempt from the wing was so off-line that it banked in, ending that experiment.

But the panic button, oddly, was pushed much earlier, when Bennett went four-guard to start the second half, inserting Kyle Guy for Jack Salt, which didn’t work at all, as the Hokies got back into the game by getting into the lane, hitting eight of their first 10 shots from the field, including a 6-for-6 start in shots at the rim.

Marial Shayok, for some reason, got only 21 minutes, which is particularly odd when you look at how effective he was offensively in those 21 minutes – 5-of-8 from the floor for 11 points.

Guy was just as effective in his 22 minutes – 5-of-8 from the floor, including a jumper that tied the game with a little over a minute to go in regulation, and an assist on a layup by Devon Hall that tied the game at 78-78 in the final seconds of the second OT.

Darius Thompson, ostensibly, ate up a lot of their minutes, getting 27 minutes in which he scored four points on 2-of-3 shooting and had three assists.

The long stretches with Guy and Shayok off the floor put more pressure on London Perrantes to produce, and while the senior did pour in a game-high 22 points, he was just 7-of-22 from the field to get there, putting up a third of Virginia’s 66 attempts from the field on the night.

 

Free throw stripe not kind to Cavs

All that said, Virginia wins if not for an ugly 14-of-24 effort at the free-throw line. Freshman Ty Jerome had a chance to ice the game with 9.7 seconds left, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity, opening the door for the game-tying tip-in by Ty Outlaw.

The Cavs then were 1-for-3 at the line in the first OT, including another missed front end of a 1-and-1, by Perrantes, and 4-of-6 in the second OT.

 

Ugh

It all adds up to another painful loss for a team that has now lost two games on the road in OT, had a third road loss on a tip-in at the buzzer, lost at home on a three-pointer with 2.2 seconds left, lost on the road by four in a game that it led by 12 at the break, and lost at home by nine in a game that was tied with a minute and a half to go.

Column by Chris Graham

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