In a clash of styles in Charlottesville, the No. 13 Virginia Cavaliers had no problems handling the visiting Tigers of Savannah State, cruising to a 78-47 win. The victory put the Hoos at 10-1 on the season with one game left in its non-conference schedule. Savannah State, who came into tonight’s game averaging over 82 points per game and playing the quickest tempo in the country, was forced to play Virginia’s speed.
Ty Jerome led the Cavaliers with a career-high 17 points on 6-for-9 (3-for-3 from three), and Jack Salt tied his career-high with 10 points with perfect 4-for-4 shooting from the field. Virginia had 10 players that saw double-digit minutes in the game, and all of them scored. Mamadi Diakite also hit double-digit scoring with 10 points.
This one was over just about as soon as it started, and the Hoos never trailed in the game.
Hall picked up where he left off - a career high against Davidson in Virginia’s last outing - and opened the scoring for the Hoos with a three. Virginia never looked back as it jumped out to a 12-0 lead, and Savannah State didn’t score their first bucket (a two-pointer) until the 15:12 point of the first half.
The Hoos were able to just about whatever they wanted offensively, shooting 52% from the field and 50% from three in the first half. Nine of the 10 players that saw the court during the first 20 minutes scored a bucket, led by Ty Jerome with 11 points. De’Andre Hunter and Mamadi Diakite each chipped in six first half points, and Kyle Guy added five of his own.
Savannah State’s John Grant led his team with nine points in the first half, and the Tigers shot 26% from the field and 27% from three over the first 20 minutes. The Tigers turned the ball over nine times in the first half, leading to eight points for Virginia. Each team had two steals in the first half, with the Hoos holding a 5-2 lead in blocks (two of which belonged to Jay Huff)
In the second half, Savannah State hit back-to-back three pointers to close the gap to 15, but Virginia responded with an 19-0 run over a 9+ minute span to totally suck the life out of Savannah State’s game.
Virginia finished shooting 50% from the field and 37% from three. The Hoos snagged seven steals and blocked seven shots as they all-around made life miserable for the Tigers.
Savannah State finished the game just 11-of-37 (30%) from three, just above their season average of 29%. Grant finished with 22 points to lead the Tigers, including three straight three-pointers down the stretch. His 22 points were a career high as he came into tonight’s game averaging just over three points per game. The Tigers turned the ball over 19 times and were outscored 36-6 in the paint.
The Cavalier big men had a solid outing Tuesday night. Isaiah Wilkins played just 15 minutes in the game, but scored two points, grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, and dished two assists with no turnovers. Huff and Diakite played 16 and 22 minutes, respectively, as they had a great opportunity for experience in the post. Jack Salt went a perfect 4-for-4 from the field as he matched his career high with 10 points and added five rebounds.
Most Valuable Player
To the delight of Wahoo fans, Ty Jerome looked more like the Ty Jerome of late last year, scoring 11 points in the first half on 4-for-7 shooting, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. He added another six points to finish with his career high 17 points.
Even better than the point production, however, was the confidence with which he played. There was no hesitation on the three point shots, and his passes were crisp.
On top of the career high points, Jerome had four rebounds, three assists, and just one turnover.
-Jay Huff played 16 minutes, scored six points, and grabbed six rebounds before fouling out in the second half.
-Marco Anthony, the only true first year on the team, played 16 minutes, scored five points, and dished out two assists. Not too shabby.
-Jack Salt made back to back free throws.
-Virginia forced the Tigers, the country’s fastest-paced team, into a shot clock violation. That’s peak Tony Bennett, and I’m 100% here for it.