This one was never really in doubt. Virginia handled the visiting Grambling State from the get go, holding them to just nine points at the half and winning with a resounding 90-34 final score. The win is the third straight holding an opponent under 40, the 17th time in Tony Bennett’s tenure at Virginia. With the win, the Hoos extended their JPJ home winning streak to 23, the longest in JPJ history and the sixth longest home streak in the nation.
The Hoos led 49-9 at halftime, holding the Tigers to 4-for-19 (21.2%) shooting, 13 turnovers, and 0-for-4 shooting from three. First year Kyle Guy led Virginia with 14 points (4-for-5 from the floor, 3-for-4 from three) in nine minutes, and Marial Shayok chipped in eight points. Virginia shot 72% in the first half (18-for-25), including 7-for-12 (58.3%). The nine points given up by the Hoos is the lowest since Harvard scored eight in the first half on December 21, 2014 (they scored 28 in the game).
Virginia’s defense was just too much for the Tigers, The Hoos forced 21 turnovers (including 13 in the first half), including this one that ended in a fancy behind the back pass by Devon Hall to Jack Salt for the dunk:
Devon Hall behind the back to Jack Salt for the dunk. https://t.co/OG0TJLEGfg— Will Ojanen (@WillsWorldMN) November 23, 2016
In the second half, it was more of the same. Guy was utterly unstoppable, making five three pointers (on six attempts), going 6-of-7 from the floor, 3-for-3 from the line, with 20 points, three assists, two rebounds, and a steal. In thirteen minutes. Shayok and Darius Thompson had 12 points apiece, combining to go 9-for-14 from the floor.
The Green Machine - Justice Bartley, Trevon Gross Jr., and Jeff Jones - were all in the game by the 9:56 mark.
Coach Bennett stuck with the same lineup to start, and kept similar substitution patterns as Shayok and Guy were first off the bench. With Iowa - KenPom No. 58 - looming on Friday in Destin, Florida as part of the Emerald Coast Classic, Virginia had a chance to tinker with lineups, get guys playing time, and gain valuable defensive experience. The Hawkeyes are by far the best team the Hoos have faced (Yale was No. 128) and will be the first true barometer of how good this team is, especially without Nichols.
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