Likes/Dislikes from Virginia’s gnarly 59-56 win at Pitt

Like: Surviving a late collapse

UVA AthleticsIf Kihei Clark doesn’t turn the ball over, if Trey McGowen doesn’t make the open three, Virginia wins this game by 15.

But Clark did turn the ball over, McGowen did bury it, and what had been a 13-point UVA lead a blink before was suddenly seven.

The Pitt home crowd, comatose for most of the second half, immediately flipped to fever pitch, and the Panthers rode the wave, getting the deficit down to two in the final minute, with a contested three to take the lead with 4.3 seconds left rimming out.

You’re supposed to lose that game if you’re Virginia.

You take the win, and you clean things up for next time.

Dislike: Not much from Caffaro, Stattmann

Virginia big men Mamadi Diakite and Jay Huff found themselves glued to the bench for much of the first half, both down with two fouls, limited to nine minutes each in the first 20.

Opportunity for Francisco Caffaro to grab the brass ring.

Big miss: Caffaro was stunningly ineffective in his eight minutes of floor time in the first half, missing all three of his shot attempts, two of them bunnies at the rim.

Kody Stattmann also had plenty of chances to do something, getting 15 minutes off the bench.

Shot the ball one time, a miss, had one rebound, and one block.

Like: Diakite steps up in the second half

As mentioned above, Diakite got just nine minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, and had just two points and two boards in the opening 20.

In the second half, Diakite was key: eight points on 3-of-6 shooting, 2-of-2 at the line, and eight rebounds.

Pitt had owned the boards with Diakite and Huff on the bench so much in the first half, with a 17-11 edge, with seven of the rebounds on the offensive glass.

Virginia, led by Diakite, controlled the caroms in the second half, to the tune of a 22-15 advantage, with Pitt getting just three offensive rebounds in the second 20.

Story by Chris Graham


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