The Hoos easily handled a cupcake team visiting JPJ in the middle of ACC play, pounding Virginia Tech 65-45. This one wasn't supposed to be close, and after a quick burst from the Hokies, it wasn't. The Wahoo defense smothered Tech, allowing 45 points (albeit in 57 possessions) to improve to 15-5 and 6-1 in ACC play. Tech dropped its 6th straight game to fall to 8-11 (1-6 ACC).
Malcolm Brogdon led the Hoos with 18 points on 6 of 10 shooting, including 4 of 5 from behind the arc, and grabbed a game-high 6 rebounds. Brogdon is now shooting 38% on threes this season, including 42% in ACC play. Joe Harris added 12 points on 4 of 9 shooting, while Mike Tobey and Anthony Gill added 8 and 7, respectively.
But it was a hounding UVA defense that put the game away early. Just over 5 minutes into the game, Tech slashed the lead to 2 points at 13-11. Ten minutes later, the Hokies had managed to add just one more point, as UVA took a 25-12 lead. Despite Tony Bennett's resting starters for long stretches of the second half, the lead never dipped back into single digits, as the Hoos easily rolled to a win.
The Hokies are a relatively decent three-point shooting team, so it figured they would launch them early and often. They did, but made just 3 of 18 attempts (and 33% of field goals overall). Jarell Eddie, who usually spearheads what passes for Tech's "offensive" attack, managed just 7 points on 2 of 10 shooting.
The lone issue for the Virginia defense is that they've been sending opponents to the line at an increasingly high rate. The Hokies attempted 25 FTs (making just 14). Earlier this year, UVA ranked in the top-3 in the nation in opposing FT rate. However, the team's rank is plummeting (now 38th), as the Hoos are 13th in the ACC in that category in conference games.
Besides Brogdon's big game, a highlight of the offense had to be Teven Jones's first dunk of his college career, as he grabbed a steal around the Hokie three point line and took it the distance. Jones actually picked up a technical foul when, in classic ACC ref fashion, the official saw him yelling "YEAH" toward the Virginia bench...and somehow believed he was taunting a Hokie. *Facepalm*
After capping a perfect three-game homestand, the Hoos head on the road for two games at Notre Dame and then Pitt. Since Jerian Grant was ruled ineligible for the remainder of the year, the Irish have been a bit schizophrenic during ACC play. They've taken down Duke at home, but also lost at home to NC State and have yet to win a game on the road. This matchup is one that UVA should win (Kenpom gives the Hoos a 70% chance), but avoiding a road letdown will be no small task. That game tips off at 9PM and will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Here's that awesome Teven Jones dunk: