The No. 20 U.Va. men’s basketball team (19-4, 6-3 ACC) dominated Wake Forest (11-13, 2-8 ACC) at home Wednesday night 68-44 bouncing back from a tough loss at No. 17 Florida State last weekend. The Cavaliers out-played the Deacons on both ends of the court, shooting 53.7% from field goal range while holding Wake Forest to 34.1%. The squad improves to 12-1 home at JPJ, winning the most home games since the 2006-2007 season.
After allowing the Deacons the first bucket of the game, senior, Mike Scott ignited a 10-0 run and the Deacons wouldn’t come within 4 of the Cavaliers for the next 36 minutes of play. Mike Scott headlined the game showing why he leads the ACC in field-goal-percentage shooting a perfect 9-9 from the field, finishing with 19 points and 5 rebounds. Scott’s perfect percentage marks him the first player to make at least 9 field goals without a miss in an ACC match-up since 1999.
Joe Harris also had a great performance, as he lit it up from the 3-point line making 3 of his 4 attempts and finishing with 11 points overall. Jontel Evans, Malcolm Brogdon, and Akil Mitchell each added 10 points giving the Cavaliers a balanced and strong offensive front.
The Cavaliers’ relentless defense forced 17 Deacon turnovers and grabbed 12 steals. The defensive dominance led to easy lay-ups in transition leading to Virginia’s 12-0 run to end the first half and a 10-0 run early in the second half. The UVa defense has consistently lifted the Cavaliers as its leads the ACC in scoring defense, rebounding defense, and defensive rebounding percentage.
The men will face their highest-rank opponent this year, travelling to No. 5 North Carolina this Saturday. UNC leads the historical series 125-49 including a 62-56 loss last season. The match-up will likely be a battle of tempos as the Tar Heels’ quick-tempo, high scoring pace will have to be slowed by U.Va.’s defense for the Cavaliers to stay in the game. Tip-off is slated for 1:00pm and will be televised on the ACC Network.