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Virginia returns to form against Wake Forest in 70-34 blowout win

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Breathe easy, Wahoo fans!

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Cavaliers beat Wake Forest - that's the understatement of the day. The Hoos dominated from start to finish in a 70-34 dismantling of the Demon Deacons in Winston Salem.  Without both Justin Anderson (broken finger) and London Perrantes (concussion), UVA turned in arguably their best performance of the ACC season, more than doubling up an improving Wake Forest team on the road.

GAME STATS: Virginia Wake Forest
Points Per Possession 1.14 .56
Effective FG% 54.5% 21.5%
Offensive Rebound % 36.7% 22.7%
Turnover % 18.0% 21.4%
FTA/FGA 23.2 12.7

Coming into the game, the Wahoos had some big questions to answer:

Could the team replace London Perrantes? (No, he isn't really replaceable, and the team did turn the ball over 11 times...but Brogdon and Hall ran the point admirably.)

After making just one shot from outside the paint against Florida State, would the team find their shots? (Yes, generally - the team was 5-14 from behind the arc, but 4-7 in the first half).

Would they be able to stop Dino Mitoglou, who burned the Hoos for 6 three-pointers last Saturday? (Definitely. He led the Demon Deacons with 10 points, but made his only two three-pointers in the last 5 minutes.)

And how in the world would UVA be able to win at the Joel, where they've been tormented since their last victory in Winston-Salem in 2000? (Easily.)

The result: Giddy Tony Bennett:

This was the definition of a team effort; of the team's 70 points, no UVA player had more than Anthony Gill's 11 on 5-7 shooting; he also pulled down 4 of the team's 11 offensive rebounds. Darion Atkins had 10 more, as the Hoos focused on their advantage on the interior, and Malcolm Brogdon added 9 before getting some well-earned rest midway through the second half - he was replaced by BJ Stith, who saw his most playing time since November.  All 11 Wahoos who played scored points.

Evan Nolte, Devon Hall, and Marial Shayok have continued to step up in Anderson's absence. Nolte drilled 2 of his 4 three pointers, Hall scored 9 in a turnover-free game, and Shayok added 7 more points and a team-high 4 assists.

The Hoos dominated on defense, holding Wake Forest to .56 PPP, UVA's second best defensive effort of the conference season (after holding GT to 28 points in 53 possessions).  Not only did UVA keep Mitoglou quiet, but they once again shut down Devin Thomas, who scored just 2 points and turned it over 5 times, and Codi Miller-McIntire, who had 7.  Then again, the rim was all the defense Virginia needed sometimes:

With the win, Virginia improves to 26-1 on the season, and 14-1 in the ACC. They've also clinched at least a 2 seed in the ACC Tournament.  They'll return to action Saturday for their ACC home finale against Virginia Tech at 4 PM.