No. 12 Virginia picked up an impressive road win on Tuesday night, knocking No. 14 Notre Dame, 71-54.
London Perrantes has 22 points and five rebounds for the Cavaliers. Isaiah Wilkins, Devon Hall and Marial Shayok each scored in double figures for the Cavaliers. Notre Dame was led by Bonzie Colson’s 20 points, followed by Steve Vasturia with 14.
Virginia went into the break with a one-point advantage. But Perrantes, who scored 12 points after halftime, and the Cavaliers’ defense was enough to frustrate one the nation’s most efficient offenses. Late in the second half, while the Fighting Irish offense was struggling, Perrantes and Ty Jerome sparked a 12-2 run, opening up a 66-51 advantage.
Entering the night, Notre Dame was in a tie for first place with North Carolina and Florida State. The Irish travel to Georgia Tech on Saturday. Virginia will be tasked with slowing down another high-powered offense, as the Wahoos travel to Philadelphia to face the top-ranked Villanova Wildcats.
1. Virginia has Notre Dame’s number
The Fighting Irish joined the ACC in 2013. And they have not been able to Virginia since becoming a member of the league. Notre Dame can thank Virginia’s pack-line defense for that. It dares teams to shoot, which can be dangerous with a team that has marksmen like the Irish. But it does however take away the drive and kicks. While the Irish did get some open looks to start the game, they couldn’t convert. Those frustrations only mounted as Virginia was connecting from the right out of the gate.
Another stable of the pack-line defense is to double the post. Tony Bennett strayed away from that tactic to assure Notre Dame wouldn’t get any open looks for the remainder of the night. That resulted in Bonzie Colson going for team-high 20 points, a sacrifice the Cavs were obviously willing to make.
Notre Dame, which entered the game as the ACC’s best 3-point shooting team, was 3-of-18 (17 percent) from beyond the arc.
2. It wasn’t just London Perrantes hitting big shots
Like he’s done through his career, Perrantes thrived in another big situation in front of another hostile crowd. The senior guard drilled a 3-pointer midway through the second half to give Virginia an eight-point lead. But then Ty Jerome, the reserve freshman, came up with eight points in less than three minutes. Given the tempo Virginia plays at, that’s pretty impressive, especially for someone who had 11 combined points in ACC play.
Perrantes finished with a game-high 22. Tuesday marked the third 20-point game for Virginia’s senior guard. He had 24 points against Wake Forest, followed by 25 in the next game against Clemson. He had no 20-point games in the November or December.
3. Virginia Road Warriors?
Virginia landed its fifth true road victory of the season on Tuesday. The Cavaliers have previously defeated Louisville on the road. Up next is another test. Virginia heads to Philadelphia to face No. 1 Villanova on Saturday. This game will only be more intense after the Wildcats were upset by Marquette.