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Inside the Numbers: Didja notice that UVA held Syracuse to 19 in the second half?

uva basketballLet’s go ahead and answer the headline writer doofus now: no, you didn’t notice that UVA held Syracuse to 19 in the second half.

Sure, that’s what happened, but then, it was while Virginia was making 10 of its 13 threes in the second half, after making 8-of-12 from three in the first half.

That comes out to 18-of-25, which further comes out to 54 points on 25 shots.

Which, further, comes out to an effective field-goal percentage on those shots of a million percent.

OK, it’s actually only 108 percent, but, still.

The attack against the 2-3 zone was slow in coming. At the outset, the Cavaliers tried what you’re supposed to do against the ‘Cuse, forcing the ball into the middle, just below the free-throw line, to hit at the soft spot in the zone.

Only, the Orange played that well, and forced eight first-half turnovers, many of them coming on those forced entry passes.

Even in that sloppy first half, Virginia was unconscious from three, hitting the aforementioned 8-of-12 from long-range, but with the turnovers, which Syracuse exploited into a 9-3 edge in points off turnover, it was Syracuse 34, UVA 32 at the break.

‘Cuse still lead 43-42 inside of 15 minutes to go, when two things happened.

Virginia went even more unconscious from three, hitting seven of its next eight from behind the arc.

And then, defense.

You knew that was coming.

Syracuse scored one bucket over the next 10 minutes, and the 27-3 UVA run turned that one-point deficit into a 23-point lead.

We’re used to seeing Cavalanches. This was the ultimate.

Syracuse shot 7-of-26 from the field in the second half, and had six turnovers, that UVA turned into an 11-4 advantage in points off turnovers in the final 20 minutes.

The ‘Hoos, meanwhile, shot 18-of-29 from the floor, and the already pointed out 10-of-13 from three.

That’s 46 points on 29 shots, an effective field-goal percentage of 79.3 percent.

Not. Too. Shabby.

The way it was done was impressive. Against the 2-3 zone, Ty Jerome had a career-high 14 assists, getting enough dribble penetration to draw defenders into gaps to hit open shooters for three.

And, oh, those open shooters.

Kyle Guy was a career-best 8-of-10 from three, while De’Andre Hunter was a modest 5-of-7.

Jerome, for his part, was 5-of-6 from long-range, and he should have gotten hockey assists on at least a couple, on which he threaded nice passes into the post, floated back out to the line, then took the pass back out for open shots that he had created for himself with ball movement.

Needless to say, the Virginia team that you saw tonight is a Virginia team that can be cutting down nets in Minneapolis in April.

A lot of basketball to be played between now and then, yes, but …


Just, wow.

Column by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press