Post play key for Virginia in 67-55 ACC win over Boston College
Virginia got Boston College into early foul trouble in the post, and wore down the Eagles from there, getting 17 points from Jayden Gardner and 13 points from Kadin Shedrick in a 67-55 win Tuesday night.
The story of the game: the ‘Hoos attempted just seven threes all night, and connected on 26-of-29 at the free throw line.
The issue for BC coming out of the gate was the foul trouble for sixth man Quinten Post, who had three first-half fouls, and TJ Bickerstaff, who had two.
With those two in arrears on the foul ledger, Virginia was able to pound the ball inside to Gardner and Shedrick, who got to the line a combined 15 times on the night.
Like a boxer pounding the body early, the attack aimed at Boston College’s back line eventually allowed Virginia’s guards to get into the paint to create.
Reece Beekman, who didn’t score, finished with seven assists. Kihei Clark actually had a game-high 19 points, needing only seven shots from the floor – he finished 10-of-10 at the stripe.
Armaan Franklin had a nice, efficient night, hitting on a pair of threes on his way to a 12-point night – 5-of-10 from the field, 2-of-4 from three.
The Eagles led by as many as seven early, but Virginia took control with runs of 9-3 and 9-2 to go into the break up five, 30-25.
A 12-2 Cavalier run out of the locker room pushed the margin to 15 at the 14:41 mark. Boston College was able to get as close as eight on a couple of occasions late, but never really threatened in the final 20.
Inside the Numbers
Virginia was 10-of-20 on shots at the rim. Points in the paint were even, 24-24, but points in the paint don’t account for free throws.
Virginia’s bigs (Gardner, Shedrick and Francisco Caffaro) were a combined 14-of-17 at the line.
Boston College was 10-of-13 on shots at the rim, and the Eagles’ bigs, Bickerstaff, Bickerstaff and Post – were a cumulative 2-of-2 at the line.
BC was too content to settle for contested threes – 21 of the 47 field goal attempts were threes, and the Eagles were just 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) on those.
Virginia was 3-of-7 from long-range.
In addition to forcing lots of bad looks from three, the UVA defense also hounded BC into 14 turnovers on its 58 possessions (24.1 percent).
Virginia, which had nine turnovers on its 55 possessions (16.4 percent), finished with a 20-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
UVA had nine steals, led by Kody Stattmann (3). Stattmann also had two of Virginia’s four blocked shots.
On the offensive side, Stattmann was almost nonexistent – two points in 22 minutes, a pair of free throws, just one shot attempt, which came 11 seconds into his first shift.
News and notes
Stattmann would leave at the eight-minute mark to get checked by the team orthopedists, but he returned to the team huddle at the under-four timeout and looked fine.
Caffaro also left with an apparent injury. The 7’1” junior, who had four points and a lone rebound in 14 minutes, took a hard fall on a foul at the 10:30 mark, the back of his head bouncing off the floor.
Caffaro didn’t return to the game thereafter, though he did stay on the bench and was in huddles with his teammates during timeouts.
The announced attendance at the John Paul Jones Arena was 12,847, but it didn’t appear that there were more than 10,000 in the 14,900-seat arena. JPJ is still operating under a University of Virginia Grounds-wide policy barring patrons at inside events from being able to have food or drink. The 6 p.m. start, at the dinner hour, may have had an impact on some folks’ decisions not to come out.
Next up for Virginia (13-9, 7-5 ACC): the Cavaliers host Miami (16-5, 8-2 ACC) on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Story by Chris Graham