Despite the miracle win in Winston-Salem, the Virginia Cavaliers have struggled mightily on the road in the ACC this year. As mentioned earlier, the main factor in UVA's difficulties on the road is their offense. Taking the analysis a step further, the biggest culprit is the Hoos performance in the first halves of these games. Here are the Cavaliers points per game by half by location in just ACC games:
|Points Per Game||1st half||2nd half|
Virginia is averaging 18 points fewer in the first half of road games than the second half. They are also scoring 8.5 fewer in the first half in road games than in home games. Below is a breakdown of UVA's corresponding shooting performances:
|FG%||1st half||2nd half|
The Hoos are shooting under 40% in the first half of road games, but above 47% in the second halves and above 50% at home. Virginia is even worse from the 3 point line in those halves:
|3 Point %||1st half||2nd half|
The Cavaliers are only 4 of 25 from behind the arc in the first half of road games. The second half barrage from London Perrantes in Blacksburg and miracle last minute threes at Wake Forest bring the second half numbers above 45%. There is also a stark contrast when looking at free throw attempts.
|FT Attempts||1st half||2nd half|
Virginia only went to the line 14 times in 80 minutes of first half action on the road. Meanwhile, they attempted 66 at home in the second halves of games. While teams are intentionally fouling more at the end of the game, it does not explain the 8 shot increase in the first halves of home games as well. Understandably there are other factors at play like the hostile away crowds, refereeing to home crowd bias, and unfamiliarity with opposing arena/rims, but it should not influence the Hoos enough to take 11 more 3 point attempts than free throw attempts. In fact, here is a breakdown of the 3 point attempts to free throw attempts ratio:
|3PTA/FTA Ratio||1st half||2nd half|
The first half of road games is the only half in which the Cavaliers have shot more 3's than FT's. UVA seems to be jacking up 3 pointers in the first halves of road games instead of driving and getting to the line. This results in the Hoos falling behind early to much lower ranked opponents. In the first halves against Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, Virginia only had a lead for a combined 57 seconds and were down by at least 9 each time. Meanwhile, in the four home games UVA was leading for at least 13 minutes and by at least 6 points in each one.
Unfortunately, Virginia's next road game is against Louisville, which boasts the 5th highest rated defense. If the Cavaliers can avoid settling for 3 pointers early in the game and get to the FT line against the Cardinals, then hopefully the Hoos will not need a historic last minute rally to earn the victory.