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Inside the Numbers: Bennett subs, D, key #2 Virginia win

uva basketballLouisville led #2 Virginia 62-61 inside of six minutes to go on the strength of superior offense.

The Cardinals had gone 8-of-9 from the floor to key a 20-4 run spanning the halves to turn a nine-point deficit into a seven-point lead.

An and-one by Christen Cunningham with 5:45 left put Louisville back on top, and capped a long stretch that saw the Cards shoot 13-of-22 (59.1 percent) from the floor.

UVA coach Tony Bennett subbed in Mamadi Diakite for Jay Huff after Ty Jerome was fouled on a shot attempt 13 seconds later.

Jerome made both free throws, then Diakite forced a turnover, a Jordan Nwora travel.

Dead-ball timeout, Huff checked back in, offense for defense.

Jerome, probing the lane on a dribble penetration, found Huff at the top of the key for an open three that pushed the lead to four.

Virginia rebounded a miss by Cunningham, and a foul by Malik Williams allowed Bennett to sub Diakite back in for Huff.

Defense for offense.

Diakite’s presence was felt on a sequence inside of three minutes left, when Louisville snared a pair of offensive rebounds, but Diakite was able to force two misses.

A Jerome floater later, and the game was in endgame, and Virginia was able to close out at the free-throw line.

Bennett got the offense he needed from Huff, who had nine points, all on threes – the 7’1” redshirt sophomore was 3-of-3 from behind the arc.

And then, he got the defense he needed from Diakite, who only had four points on 2-of-5 shooting in 17 minutes off the bench, but had the best plus/minus number on the stat sheet at the end of the day: +10.

Louisville, after that hot stretch, made just two of its last 11 shots, one of those a rather meaningless three with five seconds left, down eight at the time.

Quick hits

  • Virginia outscored Louisville 38-4 in the paint in the 64-52 win in the Yum! Center two weeks ago. The Cardinals turned that around in their favor Saturday, outscoring the ‘Hoos 20-16. Louisville made 10 of its 23 shots in the paint; UVA was 8-of-18 in the paint.
  • Louisville scored 1.12 points per possession. The Cards became the fourth opponent to score more than a point per possession against Virginia in ACC play. Duke did it twice, and North Carolina had 61 points on 60 possessions in the Cavaliers’ win in Chapel Hill last month. Dayton and Maryland in non-conference play also accomplished that feat this season.
  • Kihei Clark did that thing again, where he played 27 minutes, and wasn’t on the floor for the last 11+. Clark subbed out at the 11:28 mark and didn’t return as Bennett went with Braxton Key for that closing stretch. Key logged 15 minutes total on the night.
  • Huff played 13 minutes, his fifth straight game with double-digit minutes. Over that span, Huff has averaged 7.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, shooting 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the floor.

Column by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press