Likes, dislikes from Virginia’s 50-49 win over Notre Dame

Like: Mamadi Diakite carries the ‘Hoos

uva basketball

The Big Four. Photo by Dan Grogan.

I give Mamadi plenty of hell when he tries to carry Virginia, and sucks the air out of the offense. Tuesday night, Diakite was everything.

The 6’9″ senior scored 20 in a game that had 99 total between the two teams, on 7-of-15 shooting.

Photo Gallery: Virginia defeats Notre Dame.

Only one of the misses was a three.

He was 6-of-8 on shots at the rim, which, you want to say, eureka, do a backflip, maybe a somersault.

And Diakite and Jay Huff did a nice job on Notre Dame big John Mooney, who needed 14 shots to get 11 points.

Credit where credit is due. This was a yuge night for Mamadi Diakite.

Like: That two minutes of Huff

Actually, narrowing it down, that minute and 49 seconds of Jay.

Hit a three from the top of the key at the 9:51 mark to tie the game at 38.

Hit a baby hook 1:19 later, puts Virginia up two.

Then, next possession, top of the key, another three, 43-38 UVA.

Kihei Clark was lazy on a pass to an open Huff at the top of the key on Virginia’s next possession, or, who knows, maybe it’s not a 50-49 OT final.

Huff finished the night with eight points in 29 minutes, but they all came right there.

He also had nine rebounds, two blocks and a steal.

Like: 13 boards

Braxton Key had 13 rebounds. He made one shot from the floor, airballed a free throw, made the other one, the eventual game-winner.

On a night that made you think, he needs to get back in the gym with his girlfriend rebounding for him again, 13 rebounds, including the last one, on the Rex Pflueger miss with six seconds left.

Like: Kihei plays his ass off

Kihei Clark had a modest nine points, on 4-of-9 shooting.

And a very modest, for him, three assists.

But also: only two turnovers.

In 45 minutes.

I’ll take what Kihei gave us in a win.

Like: Casey Morsell

Since the game didn’t tip until 9 Eastern, a lot of us media types were there way early. I was in JPJ around 6:15 p.m. Casey Morsell was out on the floor when I was walking laps of the concourse, throwing up high-arcing jumper after high-arcing jumper.

The knock, from me, a former UVA intramural free-throwing shooting champ (1994), and thus expert marksman, is that his shot is flat, almost a line drive.

Needs arc.

I watched him for 20 minutes, injecting arc into his jumper, hours early.

The two makes he had in the game showed the results of the hard work.

Keep at it, young man.

Like: Woldy impacts without scoring 27

OK, I like, we all like, the Tomas Woldetensae who goes full Reggie Miller on foes. You can’t go 10-of-13 from the floor every night, though, and when the shots aren’t falling, you need to find a way to contribute.

Woldetensae made his first two shots from the field, a tough two and a tough three, in the first four minutes, then missed the other nine shots he would take on the night the rest of the way.

And still did enough defensively, and with three nice assists, and a couple of others leading to teammates’ free throws, to earn 41 minutes of floor time.

It’s easy to be the man when everything you throw in the direction of the rim ends up in the net.

This was a nice one for Woldy, to be able to impact the game in myriad other ways when the shots aren’t falling.

Story by Chris Graham


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