The Virginia Cavaliers extended their winning streak to six games with a 51-41 victory over visiting Florida State. The Hoos overcame injuries to Malcolm Brogdon (who returned to the game) and London Perrantes (who didn't), after a scary moment when the two collided on defense. And the result was UVA's 25th win of the season, and the 200th of Tony Bennett's career.
|GAME STATS:||Virginia||Florida State|
|Points Per Possession||.93||.70|
|Offensive Rebound %||25.0%||18.8%|
As Virginia has in all four games since Justin Anderson's injury, the team struggled offensively, failing to reach a point per possession for the fifth straight game. The Hoos got off to a fast start, leading 12-4 eight minutes in. But a 6 minute scoreless stretch and 10-0 Florida State run gave the Noles a lead late in the half, with a Darion Atkins dunk sending UVA into halftime winning 22-21.
Early in the second half, Brogdon and Perrantes collided coming around an FSU screen. Malcolm would return after receiving a few stitches, but Perrantes was shaken up, bleeding heavily from his face on the court. (reportedly causing multiple students to faint? Yikes!) When he returned to the bench later in the half, it wasn't pretty; Bennett noted that his "nose wasn't where it was supposed to be."
Coach Bennett presumes that Perrantes's nose was broken (as does everyone else in the world), but no word yet on his official status going forward. The Hoos will need him. Devon Hall made a beautiful circus layup in relief, but struggled to run the offense. Perrantes's shoes are tough to fill. Gotta love Anthony Gill to make light of a tough situation, though:
Me to Anthony Gill: "What does London's face look like?" Gill: "He's ugly as usual."— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) February 23, 2015
With UVA in serious need of a boost, Darion Atkins came up big, scoring two quick buckets after the injuries and finishing the game with 11 points on 5-7 shooting, along with 4 steals against the turnover-prone Noles. Still, the Seminoles took back the lead at 37-36 against a still-shaken Cavalier squad with 10:34 to play. That would be FSU's last successful field-goal make. The Wahoo defense dominated down the stretch, and, despite shaky (14-27) free-throw shooting, UVA extended a lead that would last.
UVA made just one field-goal from outside the paint, a Perrantes three-pointer in the first half; the Hoos missed their other 10 threes (including 3 by Nolte and 3 by Brogdon). But Atkins and Anthony Gill, who led the team with 13 hard-earned points on 5-7 shooting (and 7-11 free-throw shooting), worked hard against a tough FSU frontcourt to bridge the gap.
Even with three injured players (including Anderson) and despite a shaky offensive effort, Virginia was the first team to beat FSU by double-digits since January 11 - that includes road games at Duke and UNC, which the Seminoles lost by a combined 7 points. I'll take it. UVA can't play at home forever - the team hits the road against Wake Forest Wednesday.