The Virginia Cavaliers played and won their 3rd game in 5 days, taking care of business against the South Carolina State Bulldogs. The Hoos' 75-55 win brings the team to 3-0 on the season.
This was another game that was never in doubt, as a substantial talent margin was evident from the start (SC St. came into the game ranked 341st out of 351 teams on KenPom). The Bulldogs, who actually put forth a pretty decent effort at JPJ, trailed just 19-14 eleven minutes into the game, but a 14-0 run quickly put the game far out of reach.
Justin Anderson and Malcolm Brogdon led the Hoos with 17 points apiece. Anderson continued his three-point shooting spree, going 3 of 6 from long range...dropping his rate on the season to 63%. Justin Anderson, three-point marksman, may be for real! He also threw down this awesome put-back left-handed dunk. After a quiet first two games, Brogdon reminded fans why he was on the preseason ACC first-team, as he scored at will with some nice moves to the basket. Anthony Gill added 11 points on 4-7 shooting, and tied for a game-high 8 rebounds. (Isaiah Wilkins had 8 as well...in just 13 minutes, along with some nice hustle plays). Mike Tobey reached double-figures too, going 4-7 for 10 points.
UVA finished 51% on twos and 38% on 3s, scoring 75 points in 61 possessions (1.23 PPP). SC State was 36% on 3s and 31% on 2s for a respectable .90 PPP - all 3 UVA opponents so far have made three-pointers at a higher rate than twos.
Virginia was once again playing on 1 day rest against an inferior team, and it showed in their play. While no player turned the ball over more than twice, the team coughed it up 12 times, or 19% of possessions (compared to SC St's 6). Defensively, after a solid first half, the Hoos let up in the second. It helped that Bulldog guard Karon Wright went off, nailing 5 second-half threes to finish with 15 points. UVA was actually outscored by a point in the second period. Let's not read much into it. Whether we like it or not, it's just not possible for players to give the proverbial 110% when up 25 points.
Things get serious Friday, when George Washington comes to town. It's a game in which UVA should take care of business at home (they'll be favored by around 10 points, as KenPom has the game at 68-58 Hoos), but GW is a legitimate opponent who plays solid defense. They started their year with an easy win over Grambling State, and a 70-53 victory over Rutgers. That one tips off at 7 PM, and it'll be televised on ESPN3.