Scott German: Virginia keeps the foot on the pedal, fueling huge win
OK, Clemson, the 12th-ranked team in the nation hadn’t played since Jan. 5, forced to take a pause because of a positive COVID-19 test. The Tigers, before the pause, had a three-game win streak .
This afternoon the Tigers were simply not able to jump start their restart.
Blame the pause – possibly.
Praise the Cavaliers – absolutely.
From the just moments after the opening tip, this game was not competitive, and Virginia had everything to do with that.
The 18th-ranked Cavaliers dominated the Tigers 85-50, on Saturday, and the game wasn’t that close. It was Virginia’s largest margin of victory in an ACC contest since 2015.
The impressive part of this lopsided win for Virginia was there was no letup, no backing off. From the opening tip to the final buzzer, this was a trip to the woodshed for the Tigers.
Sam Hauser and Tomas Woldetensae each scored 14 points as Virginia connected on 15 shots from beyond the arc. Woldetensae, showing his offensive capability, was three of four from three-point-land in the first half.
It was another total team effort for the Cavaliers as five players reached double-digit scoring – the second straight game that has happened.
The 85 points were the most the Cavaliers have scored in a regulation ACC game in Tony Bennett’s 12 seasons at the helm of the program.
Virginia shot 60.7 percent from the floor – including 15-of-27 from behind the line.
After a 3-2 Virginia lead at the 19:22 mark of the first half, the Cavaliers tossed a shutout for almost 10 minutes, going on a 15-0 run to make it 18-2. Hunt over.
Leading by 16 at the break (33-17), Virginia opened the second half on a 17-7 start to even further blow open the game, leading 50-24.
An obviously pleased Bennett praised his team’s play on both ends of the floor.
“When you combine the defense with that kind of shooting, it came together nicely,” said Bennett. “We didn’t take our foot off the gas.”
When you’re playing like a Ferrari, how can you?
Story by Scott German