The Virginia Cavaliers won their 5th straight game, overcoming the loss of London Perrantes to beat Ohio State 64-58. Malcolm Brogdon's 22 points helped the Hoos past a young but feisty Buckeye squad.
|Getting to the line (FT Rate)||25.0||28.6|
At the end of a closely-contested first half, UVA opened up a 26-17 lead, but OSU scored the period's final 7 points to cut the margin to two at halftime. Ohio State took their first lead of the game early in the second, but a Virginia 7-0 run gave the team a 57-49 lead with 4:30 to play that they clung to down the stretch. Keita Bates-Diop hit a three to give Ohio State a chance to climb back, but Isaiah Wilkins and Malcolm Brogdon sunk their free-throws to ice the game.
Virginia was hurt by inconsistency on the defensive end, as they allowed Ohio State to make 62% of their two-point attempts. Wahoo fans aren't used to seeing their team get beat on the interior, but that's exactly what happened. UVA's big men struggled offensively as well, as a frustrated Anthony Gill had to battle for 10 points on 3-8 shooting - the stats don't quite do his performance justice. Mike Tobey and Isaiah Wilkins added 6 points apiece, as the Buckeyes focused on shutting down the opportunities for the front-court to attempt shots at all. Gill, Tobey, and Wilkins combined to make seven baskets, while Ohio State finished with seven blocked shots.
The Hoos won the game anyways by dominating its other facets. Ohio State clogged the interior, daring UVA to take jumpers, and the team responded by making 8 of 16 from behind the arc - all from Malcolm Brogdon and Darius Thompson. Brogdon carried UVA, making a career-high six threes (on 10 attempts) as part of his 22 point night. Darius Thompson and Devon Hall filled in admirably for the absent Perrantes, as Thompson finished 5-8 from the field and 2-3 from behind the arc for 12 points and dealt out 6 assists.
The Hoos also cleaned up the boards, as they allowed just 3 offensive rebounds, and took advantage of the turnover-prone Buckeyes. OSU became the third team to score over a point per possession against UVA this season. However, their 59.5% eFG%, which is the third-best effort against UVA in the past two seasons (after UNC last season in the ACC Tournament and the Tennessee loss two years ago), only translated into a decent 1.02 PPP.
UVA did do a better job keeping their opponents off the free throw line, but that may be more of a product of the officiating crew's apparent decision to de-emphasize the points of emphasis that have impact the season's opening weeks.
While Tony Bennett probably isn't thrilled with the overall performance, winning a game on the road against a solid Big Ten team is a good win regardless, but it's a very good one when trying to survive without an injured starting point guard. The Hoos play next William and Mary (no pushovers at KenPom #76) Saturday at JPJ.