The high points:
- State's underclassmen stepped up huge, particularly C.J. Williams and Dennis Horner, who finished with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Williams was particularly efficient, scoring his 16 in just 17 minutes of action.
- Courtney Fells was clutch at the end, sinking four key FTs and executing the end-of-game fouling strategy to perfection.
- The Pack played well defensively and offensively at times, jumping out to 18 and 17-point leads twice in the game.
- Virginia's primary weapon, Sylven Landesberg, was held relatively in check. He finished the game with 16--two below his average--on four of 14 shooting (28%).
The low points:
- The Pack gave back both leads at the end of both halves. The Cavaliers cut the first half margin down to two right before Degand's half-ending drive and bucket. They also erased the Pack's 17-point lead down to three before Fells iced the game at the line. Different game, same story.
- Javier Gonzalez finished the game with zero assists and seven turnovers. (He was perfect from the field, however. 4-4.)
- State once again was out-rebounded and turned over more by an opponent.
Hey, a win is a win. Virginia came in red-hot after wins against Clemson and Virginia Tech and showed plenty of fight. Most teams, when down nearly 20, usually pack it in when on the road. That they didn't is a testament to the improvement of the Hoos this year.
It's also indicative of State's M.O. this year. Get up big and coast. I'm not sure what the root of it all is, or what Sid can say (or should not be saying) to right this trend. I can't fathom that Sid is purposefully "taking the air out of the ball," but the net effect is the same. There's something in this team that, when standing at the crossroads of a double-digit lead, refuses to go down the path of increasing said lead and instead meanders down the road of "Hey, let's make this thing close!"
There's a lot of ballyhoo on the
I really liked the second foul with 3.7 seconds. Excellent strategy.It's an interesting strategy, for sure, and something taken straight from the V playbook.
But, the first foul was waaaaay tooooo early. Too many bad things can happen. Cannot inbounds the ball. Turn it over on the inbounds. Miss the free throws and allow the other team with win with a two or a three. Just too much can go wrong with that much time to play.
But, with 3.7 .... that's a great time to do it.........
On to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem.