It wasn’t always easy in the early going, but Virginia built off of a seven point halftime lead to defeat the Yale Bulldogs 62-38. No. 8 Virginia, who improved to 3-0 used a huge second half stretch, holding Yale scoreless for 8:42 and putting up 18 points of their own.
This was Virginia’s first game without projected All-ACCer Austin Nichols, who was dismissed from the program Friday for his apparent inability to follow team rules. Nichols played just one game in a Virginia uniform (he was suspended for the season opener) and scored 11 points in 16 minutes.
Without Nichols, Virginia relied on Jack Salt, Isaiah Wilkins, Mamadi Diakite, and Jarred Reuter down low. All four contributed, but Wilkins and Diakite were the stars. Wilkins finished with five points, nine rebounds, three assists and a steal, and Diakite had four MONSTER blocks.
The two teams went back and forth in the first half, going into the break up 28-21 over the Bulldogs. London Perrantes led the Hoos at the half with eight points, three assists and a steal, and Marial Shayok added seven points and a block. Virginia’s largest lead of the first half was seven points, while Yale got out to a five point lead in the first stanza.
Offensively, Virginia looked rusty at times - especially early on - but finished strongly. Kyle Guy had a good showing with 12 points and three rebounds, going 3-for-4 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line. Shayok finished the game with 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, and a block.
Defensively, the Hoos were just a destructive machine. Yale came into the game averaging 94 points a game with a 98-90 win at Washington and an 89-81 overtime victory against Lehigh. Against Virginia, though, the Bulldogs looked lost. They shot just 33.3% from the field for the game.
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Next up, Hoos host Grambling State on Tuesday at 7pm.