The first 17 minutes of the game were nothing to write home about. West Virginia's cutters were getting to the basket. UVa was turning the ball over regularly. Brogdon and Perrantes were getting into foul trouble. It was not pretty and saw the Hoos fall into a 35-23 deficit, UVa's largest deficit of the season.
But the Cavaliers were able to turn it on in the final 3 minutes of the first half and went on a 7-1 run over the final 2:15 to cut the West Virginia lead. Although many though hope had been lost in the first half, the Hoos trailed just by 6 entering halftime and hope had been rejuvenated. Many will look back at the sloppy play in the first half and blame it on Gill et. al.'s lack of effort on the defensive boards, but UVa's 11 turnover in the first half certainly played a strong part in the deficit. Credit that to West Virginia's press defense that Bob Huggins has nearly perfected over the last three years.
If the first half was every UVa fan's nightmare, the second half was the thing that dreams of Final Four runs are made of.
Just 7 minutes into the second half saw UVa erase the WVU lead and take a 42-40 lead of their own. After that, the Cavaliers would pull away and lead the rest of the game.
Although Anthony Gill lead the Hoos, and all scorers, with 20 points, it can be said that London Perrantes' 13 points were just as, if not more important than Gill's 20. London's 13 included seeing the returning point guard going 3-3 from three in the second half which helped UVa pull away.
Oh, and UVa's All-American shooting guard, Malcolm Brogdon chimed in with 14 points of his own including 4 of 4 from the charity stripe to ice the game.
The win gives UVa their 8th on the season and pushes their record to 8-1. The Hoos will now take some time off for exams before returning for their biggest out of conference game on Dec. 19th against Villanova in Charlottesville.