No. 16 Virginia downs Davidson by 20
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Senior Devon Hall poured in a career-high 20 points as No. 16 Virginia dispatched Davidson 80-60 on Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena.
“Devon is an example of a guy who has gotten better, is always steady and who knows his game,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said of his senior. “That’s a guy who knows his game and has really gotten better.”
Hall was among three Cavaliers scoring in double figures. Senior guard Nigel Johnson scored a game-high 22 points while Kyle Guy put in 19. Johnson added four steals, three rebounds and three assists in what was his best game as a Cavalier after transferring from Rutgers.
“I thought Nigel was really sound and good defensively,” Bennett said. “This is our team this year, and sometimes it’s a different guy, but that is our team this year.”
Virginia (9-1) led by as many as 21 points in the second half and overcame a slow start to shoot 50 percent for the game while connecting on 10 of 19 from beyond the 3-point line. The Cavaliers turned the ball over just six times and outrebounded Davidson (4-4) 32-28.
“I don’t think we’ve guarded a team like that before and that’s why they’re on our schedule,” Hall said of Davidson. “We need to play teams like that going into the ACC schedule and we have to guard tough teams like that in the ACC.”
Davidson forward Peyton Aldridge scored 20 points, just one shy of his season average as he led the Wildcats, who shot 48 percent. The Wildcats, who rely on the 3-point shot, made just eight of their 26 attempts after entering the game shooting 39 percent from deep. Oskar Michelsen added 12 points for the Wildcats.
Virginia led by eight at the half and never trailed in the second half as the Cavaliers shot 56 percent in after halftime to pull away and cruise to the 20-point victory. The Cavaliers have now held all 10 of their opponents to under 50 percent shooting this season.
“This is a very dangerous team this year,” Davidson head coach Bob McKillop said about Virginia. “They’ve always been dangerous, but I think in particular this year they’re going to be very dangerous.”
Senior forward Isaiah Wilkins has made a living out of making plays that don’t show up in the box score and the forward continued that trend on Saturday. Wilkins scored just eight points but pulled down eight rebounds and recorded two steals in 34 minutes.
“He’s just steady,” Bennett said of Wilkins. “He knows what we need and knows himself. He’s clear about what he needs to do for our team.”
The Wildcats shot 46 percent in the second half but made just three of their 13 3-point attempts.
After trailing 14-6 midway through the first half, Virginia rallied and used a 31-15 run to end the half as they took a 37-29 lead into the halftime break.
Davidson shot 50 percent in the half and got nine points from Aldridge as the Wildcats connected on five 3-pointers.
Virginia was led by Johnson, who put in 14 first-half points as the Cavaliers recovered from a slow start and put in 45 percent of their shots, which included 5 of 9 from beyond the arc.
NOTES: Nigel Johnson’s 22 points were the most for the senior guard in a Virginia uniform... Virginia now owns a 3-0 record against Atlantic 10 teams this season... Davidson leads the nation in 3-pointers per game (13.1)... Saturday marked the third time this season that Devon Hall has set a career-high in points. The Wildcats are 15-108 all-time against nationally ranked opponents.