The good news: Virginia and Assane Sene did a bang up job of containing Maryland's Jordan Williams, who came into the game with 13 straight double-doubles. The bad news: the Cavaliers forgot about senior guard Adrian Bowie, who scored a season-high 22 points en route to Maryland's 66-42 win over Virginia.
Player of the game award for Virginia clearly goes to Assane Sene, who has consistently upped his game over the past four or five showings. Sene put up a career-high 15 rebounds and managed to contain Jordan Williams to only 4 points, 6 rebounds. Prior to last night, Williams was averaging 17.6 points and 12.1 rebounds per game.
Once Sene softens his hands just a little bit and is able to catch some balls with a little finesse, he will start looking like the veteran 7-0 center he should be. To boot, the big man only had two personal fouls last night, perhaps a career low.
Mustapha Farrakhan went 0-3 from long distance last night, and the team as a whole shot only 23.5% from the three, 33.3% overall. It was the lowest scoring game for the Hoos in well over a decade, since 1998.
The stat that really kills Virginia is that the Hoos went only 6-13 from the free throw line -- 46.2%. I'm not really sure how you coach someone to take what the charity stripe gives you, and obviously the 7 missed points here would not have changed the outcome of this contest, but the Hoos have got to start making their shots.
Losing this game dealt a big blow to anyone still holding on to the hopes of making it to the NCAA Tournament. For the first time in ACC play this season, it wasn't that Virginia lost out on an opportunity to grab a W that was theirs for the taking, it was simply that Virginia lost this game. Badly.
To the Cavaliers' credit, the first half was some of the best defense I've seen really from either team this year. Unfortunately, as has been the case several times this season already, the Virginia offense is just not showing up when it needs to be.
Virginia travels to Winston-Salem this weekend to take on a struggling -- to put it lightly -- Wake Forest team. We'll have our preview up tomorrow, but we're wondering...is anyone out there confident heading into this matchup against a 7-13 (0-5 ACC) team?