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Virginia Basketball: Cavaliers withstand Villanova onslaught; beat Wildcats 86-75

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A string of explosive baskets before the under-12 timeout in the second half propelled UVa to arguably its biggest win this year.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

An offensive spurt typical of recent Virginia basketball teams was on display for a national television audience to see Saturday, as a 14-0 second-half run helped lift No. 8 UVa to an 86-75 win over No. 12 Villanova in Charlottesville.

A matchup of the nation's No. 1 team in the KenPom efficiency ratings heading into the game (UVa) and the No. 4 team (Villanova) just about lived up to the hype as perhaps Virginia's toughest non-conference test before the season began. Virginia (9-1) led 33-29 at halftime, even through an weirdly lackadaisical performance from London Perrantes (four points, 1-4 from the field, zero assists) and Villanova (8-2) shooting at a 57 percent clip.

When the tide turned

A 14-0 run that lasted just over three minutes around the midway point of the second half featured threes and a hoop-and-harm took the roof off of JPJ (or at least it sounded that way on TV). Here's how it played out, per the ESPN box score.

Players of the game

Anthony Gill had a great outing (22 points on 8-9 from the field and 4-5 from the line), but this one has to go to Perrantes. He had three major threes in the second half - one was in the run pictured above, another one was later in the second half and provided a resounding answer to a Villanova three, and the last with 3:30 left to extend the lead to 71-64. Overall, he had 19 points and four rebounds, but a very uncharacteristic 1:4 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Villanova forward Kris Jenkins led all scorers with 23 (5-11 from three, 8-9 from the line), along with three rebounds and two assists.

The numbers game

  • Virginia was 8-12 from three and Villanova was 10-24, as the moneyballs certainly wre not in short supply for either side.
  • Four Wahoos scored in double figures - Gill's 22, Perrantes' 19, 20 from Malcolm Brogdon, and 11 from Darius Thompson.
  • It's the sixth time in 10 games this year that UVa has scored over 80 points.
  • The Cavaliers dominated the glass, outrebounding the Wildcats 32-19.

Hoos next?

Freshman-laden Cal comes into Charlottesville for a 9 p.m. tipoff on ESPN2.