The Virginia Men’s Basketball team picked up a huge conference road win Monday night to stay atop the ACC standings and keep the No. 2 Cavaliers in control of their ACC seeding destiny. While not without some drama, the Hoos dominated the Orange 47-19 in the second half to cruise to a 26-point win, 79-53.
Virginia improved to 15-2 in conference play with just one game remaining (vs. Louisville on Saturday). In the last 35 regular season ACC games, the Hoos are 32-3 with an absurd 17-1 record on the road in that same stretch.
Against Syracuse, the Hoos were hot from three (18-for-25 to be exact) as Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, and De’Andre Hunter combined for 62 points.
Takeaways and Notes
- Tony Bennett made phenomenal halftime adjustments. Besides just saying “stop turning it over” — eight first half turnovers led to 12 points for Syracuse — Bennett tweaked lineups and Virginia’s approach on offense against the 2-3 zone. By moving Ty Jerome into the center of the zone and then dribbling Paschal Chukwu out closer to the three-point line, the Hoos were able to get cleaner looks on their record-setting 18 made threes.
Virginia's 2nd half adjustment last night to put Jerome in the high post and dribble Chukwu out to the perimeter: pic.twitter.com/CNZFNPksVX— Jordan Sperber (@hoopvision68) March 5, 2019
This, in turn, let Jerome have an easier time finding Mamadi Diakite/Jay Huff near the rim or let one of the big men set a screen on Marek Dolezaj to get a shooter open on the outside. The usage of Diakite and Huff kept five offensively-minded threats on the court, and, thanks in part to smart, low-foul defense, he was able to keep them out there for an extended chunk of time.
- On the defensive end, De’Andre Hunter continues to make his case for ACC Defensive Player of the Year. This time, the victim was Syracuse’s Tyus Battle, held to just 11 points on 5-for-19 shooting. Everything Battle tried was met by Hunter, whether driving the lane or pulling up from three.
“The whole team in general made it tough for me,” Battle told Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician. “That’s why they’re the number-one defensive team in the country. They help a lot, hedge my ball screens hard and just make it tough.”
- Virginia’s 18 three-pointers tied a school record set in January of 2007 when the Hoos dropped 18 on Gonzaga.
- Ty Jerome notched his third career double-double with 16 points and 14 assists. All three double-doubles have come this season (vs Virginia Tech, @ UNC, @ Syracuse), and his 14 assists puts him in pretty good company:
Ty Jerome's 14 assists tonight tie the #UVa single-game record shared by John Crotty, Cory Alexander and Harold Deane. Most by an #ACC player this season.— David Teel (@DavidTeelatDP) March 5, 2019
- Mamadi Diakite had another four block game, matching his career-high for the fourth time this season. He has 37 blocks in ACC play this year (47 on the season), good for third in the conference.
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett
On deep shooting:
“Those guys were terrific in the second half. There were probably three or four incredibly deep threes. I think that Kyle (Guy) was looking at the ground when he shot those. That was impressive. And then to have all three of them (Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, and Deandre Hunter) get that hot was good and then they combined it with really good defense in the second half. I think there were about 14 or 16 stops where they did miss some shots, but I thought we were better at contesting.”
On differences in the first and second half:
“Obviously, it was the shooting. But it was the stops that made the difference. They might have missed a couple of open shots, but we didn’t give them second chance points. We went with some good length. We had Jay Huff and Mamadi (Diakite) down low and Mamadi did a good job when he had to guard their mobile guy. I don’t know if the player he was defending was affected after he rolled his ankle or not though. Then Deandre (Hunter) was really good on the ball individually and I thought that Kyle (Guy) had a good second half guarding Buddy (Boeheim). He really got in front and Ty (Jerome) did the job, so we were collectively good. That paired with the way we were executing our offense really made the difference.
Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim
On Virginia’s three-point shooting
“As good as I’ve seen. They shot the ball as good as I’ve ever seen it shot, put it that way.”
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