ACC Basketball

Virginia Holds Off Belmont

Malcolm Brogdon scored 22 points, while Justin Anderson finally looked like Justin Anderson, yet it was Anthony Gill who won this game for Virginia.

Playing a “spread out, take a ton of threes” offense against a tough Cavaliers defense, Belmont actually had some success scoring, as they hit nearly half their shots (a rarity against Virginia). They opened up 18-12 lead early after back-to-back threes and still led into the second TV timeout. However, Virginia started to work the ball inside and took control, going on a 15-0 run, with four of their five buckets coming in the paint. By halftime, they held a 40-32 lead, on their way to scoring 79, something they had done just once in regulation all season long.

Behind Anthony Gill’s two baskets and a pair of free throws in early in the second, Virginia’s lead grew to 51-37, yet they suddenly got sloppy with the ball and got three happy and behind Craig Bradshaw, Belmont slowly climbed back into the game and got back to within two after back-to-back Bradshaw threes.

However, Gill had seen enough. The Cavaliers re-dedicated getting the ball inside and the junior would score eight of his team’s next 10 points to wrap it up. Virginia would hit 13-of-15 from the FT line in the end, sealing the 79-67 win.

  • I’ll be honest, I never thought the Cavaliers would lose, not even when Belmont got back to within 62-60. The fact is, I’ve seen this team play too many games and when you watch them play a lot of games, you know Tony Bennett’s crew are closers. Yep, Virginia is Alex Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross (see below). When a team starts to threaten the Cavs around the 5-7 mark, all I hear is, “Put that coffee down!”
  • Anthony Gill finished with 16 points, taking just six shots. He did his damage on that charity stripe, hitting 8-for-11. Justin Anderson, who hadn’t scored a bucket in his two previous games, finally busted out. He scored 15 points, hitting 4-of-6 from the floor, including one three. That’s huge, because without him playing well, I don’t have Virginia beating Michigan State.
  • Belmont put up 25 threes and only hit eight of them, but thanks to the threat of that shot, they were able to find open spaces inside, hitting 19-of-32 two-point shots. Craig Bradshaw led the way, hitting 10 of his team’s 27 shots, finishing with a game high 25 points.

Next up for Virginia…yep, Michigan State. Revenge!!

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