Sounds weird to say: But Virginia D on Blossomgame key in win

virginia basketballVirginia senior Malcolm Brogdon had 14 points in the opening 9:15, and then switched his focus to the defensive end.

Jaron Blossomgame had a monster game nonetheless, scoring 31 on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, but he only had five points and committed three turnovers in the last 11:32 with Brogdon in his grill, and how big was that?

Well, no other Tiger had more than eight on the night, so Brogdon stopping Blossomgame down the stretch was the key to UVA’s 64-57 win in Greenville, S.C.

Clemson (16-13, 9-8 ACC) won’t be getting a bid to the NCAA Tournament unless it wins the ACC Tournament next week in Washington, D.C., but it won’t be because it doesn’t play like a team that deserves a bid.

The Tigers had come into the game with a 7-1 home record in the ACC, with wins over Louisville, Duke and Miami among its pelts.

Falling behind 12-0 before the first media timeout, Clemson clawed its way back into the game because of the sublime Blossomgame, who had 14 in the first half, then started the second half with a dunk and a pair of threes that gave the Tigers a 35-34 win with 16:23 left.

His and-one with 11:32 to go gave him 26 on the night, and Clemson trailed 41-39. He wouldn’t score again until hitting a three with 3:09 to go that cut the Virginia lead at that time to one at 53-52.

A London Perrantes three on UVA’s next possession pushed the margin back to four, and it would never get any closer, and Blossomgame’s other bucket came with the game out of reach in the final seconds.

Five points, three assists, just two shots from the field in the final 11:32. That was Malcolm Brogdon doing what Malcolm Brogdon does.

The numbers – 31 for Blossomgame, 18 for Brogdon – might not look like it, but Brogdon was the reason UVA won that game.

There’s a reason why this guy is the favorite to win the ACC player of the year award.

– Column by Chris Graham

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