Lights-out shooting in the first half proved not to be enough for Virginia to overcome its 18 turnovers, as the Cavaliers fell 81-60 to the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford shot 54.4% from the field, and 56.5% from beyond the three to shut down Virginia in the second half.
The first half saw a close shootout between the two teams, as Stanford shot 6-for-9 from the three, Virginia 5-for-9. Stanford’s successes carried into the second half, but unfortunately Virginia’s did not. Joe Harris shot four straight threes in the game to earn 12 points, which was overshadowed by Stanford’s Jeremy Green’s 5 threes, 21 points.
But the story of the game was turnovers. Last season, the Cavaliers led the ACC in fewest turnovers (10.7 per game), and were 13th in the nation in this category. At the half, the Cavaliers had already amassed a hefty 12. Last season, Virginia had a high of 16 turnovers. Tonight’s 18 was not exactly the number Bennett had in mind for a team that usually takes good care of the rock.
Bub Evans proved himself to be the clutch player of the game. Last season he had proven himself to be pretty much exactly the type of defensive player that Tony Bennett wanted out of his team. After working on his jump shot all summer, this season has been markedly different, as he reached double-digit scoring (10) last week against USC Upstate and repeated the performance against Stanford with a career-high 11 points.
Also killing Virginia was an inability to hit the offensive boards – Virginia got 5 offensive rebounds to Stanford’s 11, several of which were converted into threes.
Freshman sensation Billy Baron was unable to replicate his performance from the past two games tonight, scoring only 2 points, with 2 assists and 1 rebound. Leading the scoring front for the Cavaliers was Mike Scott with 14, followed by Harris’s 12 and Evans’s 11. Scott led the team in rebounds at 5, while Evans dished it out the most, with 6 assists.
The Cavaliers shot 100% (11-11) from the line, their first perfect night from the line since Feb. 28, 2009 vs. Wake Forest.
Perhaps noteworthy is that Asane Sene played for 14 minutes to contribute 0 points, 0 assists, 2 rebounds, and 4 personal fouls.
The schedule continues to get harder from here, as Virginia will next travel to Maui to first face Washington at midnight Monday night, followed by either Kentucky or Oklahoma the next day.