The Virginia Cavaliers are pretty good at this whole "defense" thing. The Packline D held its third opponent of the season under 30 points, as UVA dismantled Georgia Tech 57-28 at John Paul Jones Arena. The Yellow Jackets failed to get anything going on offense, as the Hoos improved to 18-0 (6-0 ACC) and ran their home ACC winning streak to 21 games.
|GAME STATS:||Virginia||Georgia Tech|
|Points Per Possession||1.09||.54|
|Offensive Rebound %||23.3%||25.6%|
Often this season, we've celebrated the "Cavalanche," when Virginia has suddenly pulled away from a close game with a thunderous run on both sides of the ball. That wasn't necessary tonight. Rather, this was a slow, constant suffication. The Jackets did manage to keep it close for the first ten minutes, pulling to within 13-10. But a quick 10-0 UVA run stretched the lead to 28-16 at halftime. At the under-four timeout of the SECOND half, Georgia Tech had managed just 6 more points.
Georgia Tech struggled to get remotely clean looks at the basket all night, and when they did manage to, they missed. The team entered the game 295th in the nation with a 45% eFG% but didn't get close to that number. They were probably fortunate to score 28, as they got a few questionable calls from the officials and scored 4 late points against the UVA walk-ons. The damage: 32% two-point shooting and "perfect" 0-12 three-point shooting. This shot chart says it all - no points were scored from outside the paint:
Georgia Tech's 28 points against Virginia are the fewest points the Yellow Jackets have ever scored in an ACC game. pic.twitter.com/DN57j4h1qo— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 23, 2015
The Yellow Jackets also coughed it up on 18% of their possessions and finished with just 2 assists on their 12 field-goals (compared to UVA's 13). Their 28 points was the fewest ever in an ACC regular season game. (That includes the pre-shot clock era.)
It was a fun game on the other side of the ball too, despite not grading as the Hoos' most prolific offensive effort, as the team finished at 1.08 PPP. That's because of plays like this one from Malcolm Brogdon, who led the team with 13 points on 6-8 shooting:
...and dunks like this one from Justin Anderson, who recovered from a poor-shooting day at Boston College by scoring 7 on 3-7 shooting, including 1-2 from behind the arc. (Thank GOODNESS he's okay - don't scare us like that, Justin!) :
After Brogdon, no other Hoo scored in double-figures...but 10 different players found the points column. That includes 5 points on 2-3 shooting from Isaiah Wilkins, who continued to impress by drilling a three-pointer and a deep jumper. He's jumped Evan Nolte in the rotation, but Nolte scored 5 as well, including a much-needed three that brought forth an "EVAN NOLTE!" chant from the fans.
UVA played a clean game, turning the ball over on just 8% of its possessions. The team did get edged by 2% on the boards, but there's nothing to worry about there. Unlike Notre Dame and Miami, who also out-rebounded the Hoos, GT is a very good rebounding team on both sides of the ball.
The game easily qualifies as a Packline Pledge game, as Georgia Tech didn't get remotely close to 50 points. Get those donations to the One Love Foundation in!
Next, Virginia heads into Blacksburg on Sunday for a rivalry matchup with the Hokies. Virginia Tech, while firmly in the ACC basement, played the Hoos tough at Cassel last season and pose a different challenge than Georgia Tech does, as they rank 15th in the NCAA in 3PT%. That game tips off at 1PM.