When it comes to a rivalry games anything can happen. The records of the two said teams are thrown completely out the window. The rivalry between the Hokies and the Cavaliers is definitely a heated one. Both fan bases, as well as the teams are not too fond of each other. The Cavaliers are on the brink of being a number one seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament, while the Hokies are just trying to finish the season strong. Todays, game presented an opportunity for the Hokies to spoil the party for Virginia. However, once again the Hokies were unable to summon the magic needed to pull off the major upset as they were defeated 69-57.
The Hokies faced an uphill task coming into the game, and it would take a performance like the one they had against the Blue Devils on Wednesday night to pull the upset. At the beginning of the game it seemed the magic had traveled with them. The Hokies built a lead, however the Cavaliers would chip away and use their size advantage to erase the deficit. The Hokies were severely undersized, as they have been all year long and they felt it as the big men got into foul trouble early. Satchel Pierce who played such an excellent game against Duke was saddled with two fouls in the first half, his back up Christian Beyer ended the first half with 3 fouls.
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The Cavalier big men Darion Adkins and Anthony Gill both scored 16 points in the win. Most of these points came against smaller players as with all the foul trouble the Hokies were forced to play the small ball, essentially playing 5 guards at a time. Malcolm Brogdon finshed with 19 to lead the Cavaliers. With all the size advantage UVA had, the Hokies actually beat them on the glass 30-29 which is a small victory for the undersized Buzz Williams team.
The Hokies struggled to score the basketball against the stingy UVA defense. Only two Hokies managed to get to double figures. Adam Smith led the way with 19 and Ahmed Hill chipped in 10. The Hokies shooting percentages were down from the Duke game, however they still hit a lot of three pointers, putting in 9 triples. It was not enough, as the Hokies did not get enough production from other players to help shoulder the offensive load.
Jalen Hudson, who was the standout against Duke was a no show. Hudson played on 14 minutes and missed his only shot. Justin Bibbs, who the Hokies had looked to be the second scoring option all year long played poorly again, only hitting one out of ten shots from the field. The Hokies offense woes were not so much a result of a stellar UVA defensive performance, but players not stepping up when they were needed the most.
Fear not Hokie fans even though the Hokies have not tasted a win against the Cavaliers since 2010, but the time is nearing. This was just not the Hokies day. For now the Hokies move on to think about the final two games of the regular season and how they can put together a game to get a win. If the Hokies can get some confidence headed into the ACC tournament, and figure out some offensive consistency the higher seeds better watch out.