It took a long 18 days, but the No. 16 Virginia Cavaliers were back in action on Tuesday afternoon with a 76-40 win over William and Mary. The two teams had rescheduled the game twice as a result of the pandemic before finally getting to play. Virginia only practiced three days — with a mandatory 10 days off — before hitting the court on Tuesday.
Despite the long lay off, Virginia shot well from the two, going 19-for-27 (70%) from inside the arc. The Hoos struggled to convert from outside but finished with a respectable percentage as they went 9-for-27 (33%) from three. Sam Hauser and Trey Murphy combined to go 6-for-13 from downtown in the game.
There were still some defensive breakdowns by the Cavaliers, but the Virginia defense held William and Mary to just 14 first half points and 28% shooting from the field (17% from three).
Kihei Clark, who was left out of the starting lineup the last two games as a result of him showing up late to some academic meetings, got the start against the Tribe alongside Tomas Woldetensae, Murphy, Hauser, and Jay Huff.
Murphy and redshirt freshman Kadin Shedrick led the Hoos in scoring with 15 and 10 points, respectively. Huff and Hauser added nine apiece, including this gem from Huff:
Huff with the dribble slam ️— Virginia Men's Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) December 22, 2020
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⚔️ #GoHoos pic.twitter.com/3304A81Qp7
Huff added four rebounds, three blocks, and an assist to his stat line, and Shedrick added six rebounds (four offensive) and a block.
Virginia was able to shake off some of the rust accumulated during their long and unexpected break, and finished the game with just seven turnovers. There were still some issues with offensive rebounds allowed, as the Hoos gave up 14 in the game.
“Our guys came out focused and ready,” Tony Bennett said in the postgame press conference. Bennett mentioned giving up too many offensive rebounds and second chance points, but was pleased with the team’s humility and passion.
The Cavaliers face a huge test with No. 1 Gonzaga scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 4pm on CBS.