Balanced scoring became a theme for this edition of Virginia basketball early this season and the share the load approach stole the show Wednesday night at Boston College. The Cavaliers saw all 10 regular rotation players score, including three guys in double figures, in a comfortable 71-54 win.
In a different look at the balanced attack, UVA dished out 22 assists on 27 made field goals with four different players logging at least 4 assists. The even distribution broke BC’s defense down throughout as the Hoos improved to 14-3 and 4-2 in the ACC.
“They came out and hit us right in the mouth,” Boston College coach Jim Christian said. “We missed a lot of good shots against a good defensive team. I thought they were unbelievably good on defense and took advantage of our mistakes and did a very good job taking us out of transition.”
Interestingly, one game after London Perrantes and Marial Shayok lit it up at Clemson with 25 and 17 points respectively, neither player was part of the double-digit trio at Boston College. Devon Hall led the way with 13 points, while adding a season-high 6 assists, 2 rebounds, and 1 blocked shot. Isaiah Wilkins scored 11 points to go with 9 rebounds and 1 steal, while Darius Thompson had 10 points and 4 assists.
In the end, UVA saw eight different players score at least 5 points, which included Perrantes and Shayok with 6 each. Perrantes tallied 4 assists too. Jarred Reuter also chipped in 6 points. Freshman guards Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome recorded 8 and 5 points respectively with Jerome posting 5 assists and 3 steals as well.
The high number of assists led to a superb assist-turnover ratio because the Cavaliers coughed up just 5 turnovers all night. On the heels of a sloppy game at Clemson where they had a season-high 16 turnovers with only 9 assists, Wednesday’s effort proved to be the exact opposite. The 5 turnovers matched a season low from the Iowa game.
UVA tossed out 8 assists during a 24-5 run that broke the game open. The game stood tied at 8-8 before the sharp-passing visitors started to pull away.
“They play very deliberately, but they don’t turn the ball over and they understand how important each pass is,” Christian said. “That’s why they are such an efficient offense. I felt that tonight we were careless with the ball and they took advantage of that. They are a very patient team on defense so when you make careless mistakes they make you pay. That was the difference in tonight’s game.”
The Cavaliers completely reversed the defensive stats from the CU game as well. After allowing 50% shooting and 42 points in the paint against the Tigers, the Hoos held the Eagles to 38.5% shooting with just 16 points in the paint. Connar Tava led Boston College with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Jordan Chapman added 16 points. BC matched the UVA line from Clemson with 9 assists and 16 turnovers.
UVA also contained Jerome Robinson, who entered the game as the ACC’s third leading scorer at 20.3 points per game with an ACC best 13 games with at least 20 points. The Cavaliers held him to 9 points on 4-of-14 shooting. Ky Bowman, the Eagles’ second-leading scorer, had only 7 points as well.
Virginia coach Tony Bennett saw some improvement on that end of the floor.
“Yes, those are two very good scorers and for the most part we made it hard for them,” Bennett said. “They got some good looks at times, but as a team I felt that we looked better defensively and were more active and swarming.”
The Wahoos play Georgia Tech on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the John Paul Jones Arena.