Virginia won 84-71, and, gasp, had 70 possessions in the game in the course of doing so.
The significance of 70 possessions: only three times in the Cavs’ previous 177 games, dating back to the start of the 2012-2013 season, did Virginia have 70 or more possessions in a game.
(And one of those was the double-OT win at Miami in January 2015. Yeah, it’s rare.)
UVA had averaged 61.3 possessions per game coming in, and Iowa State 71.7. Of course those of us in the know asserted as fact that the game would be played at Virginia’s preferred pace, because.
Iowa State shot 51.9 percent from the field. George Niang, who had averaged 20.2 points per game coming in, had 30.
And yet the Cyclones scored just 1.029 points per possession, about 15 percent down from their 1.206 points-per-possession average coming in.
Two fast-break points. That’s part of the story. That and two offensive rebounds, leading to three second-chance points.
Even in a game that had about 15 percent more possessions that your typical Virginia game, they weren’t easy possessions for Iowa State.
The ‘Clones had to get theirs against Virginia’s set defense.
That’s not how you want to have to approach things.
UVA bigs dominant
On a night when Virginia got a quiet 12 from Malcolm Brogdon and six from London Perrantes, it was the bigs who carried the flag for the Cavs.
Anthony Gill had 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. Mike Tobey, in 20 minutes off the bench, had 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting and seven rebounds.
Isaiah Wilkins had 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting to go with four rebounds and three assists.
That’s 53 points and 19 rebounds from your fours and fives on 22-of-31 shooting.
Virginia had 26 assists on 32 made baskets and just eight turnovers.
Perrantes had nine assists and no turnovers in 39 minutes. Devon Hall, who had five points, had seven assists and no turnovers in 26 minutes.
Brogdon had five assists and also didn’t turn the ball over in 37 minutes.
Your starting backcourt: 21 assists and no turnovers in 102 minutes.
Again, not bad.
Story by Chris Graham