No. 13 Virginia crushes Hampton
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Leading by just one point with under five minutes to play in the first half, Virginia was getting all it could handle and more from a Hampton team that had yet to win a game on the road this season.
What followed was nothing new for anybody that has watched Tony Bennett’s club play over the past five seasons.
Kyle Guy scored a game-high 15 points to lead No. 13 Virginia past in-state opponent Hampton 82-48 on Friday night at John Paul Jones Arena.
“I said to our guys before the game, you’re going to have to play,” Bennett said after the win. “I said these guys are perimeter-oriented and they will ball-screen you to death. I think they responded after a little bit of a slow start.”
The Cavaliers weathered a slow start and allowed just 25 points over the final 24:50 of the game to cruise in their last game before the start of ACC play.
Virginia (11-1) got 14 points from freshman De’Andre Hunter and 10 points from sophomore guard Ty Jerome to follow up a 17-point performance by Jerome on Tuesday night against Savannah State. The Cavaliers shot 45 percent for the game and got 38 points from their bench to pull off the 34-point win.
Hampton (5-9) was held to 26 percent shooting as Virginia has now limited all 12 of its opponents this season to less than 50 percent. The Pirates were led by guard Jermaine Morrow with 11 points, eight under his season average of 19.
“We got our butts kicked,” Hampton head coach Edward Joyner Jr. “I am proud of the effort that our young men put forth, especially in the first 20 minutes. We played a good ball club though and if we learn from this and take this the right way, the next time we face a team like this, maybe we will handle it a little differently.”
Virginia was relentless on the glass and outrebounded Hampton 46-32, including 17 offensive rebounds that led to 20 second-chance points.
“That’s a big part of our defense is to get back and limit the other team to one shot,” Bennett said. “It has to be a group effort and I don’t think Hampton’s size on the interior is quite like what we will see moving forward. The ability to block out, get position and go get it is key for us.”
After trailing by five points midway through the first half, Virginia used a 14-3 run to gain the advantage and used that momentum to take a 40-25 lead into the halftime break.
“They pay attention to detail,” Joyner said of Virginia. “The don’t miss an assignment. In that first 20 minutes our guys didn’t either, but we didn’t go make the officials make a call. For that first 20 minutes I thought we matched Virginia’s physicality.”
Despite shooting just 39 percent in the first 20 minutes, Virginia knocked down 12 of its 14 free throws and held Hampton to 35 percent shooting.
The Cavaliers got at least a point from 11 different players as their depth continues to be key heading into conference play. Virginia has now been undefeated or lost just one game in their non-conference slate in four straight seasons.
Virginia will have eight days off before they open ACC play at home against Boston College on Dec. 30.
NOTES: Hampton is now 1-16 all-time against ACC schools. ... Virginia is 28-0 all-time against MEAC opponents. ... Hampton junior G Akim Mitchell’s brother Akil played four seasons for Virginia. ... The Cavaliers are 103-6 when scoring at least 70 points under Tony Bennett. ... Isaiah Wilkins had nine rebounds, three blocks and three assists for Virginia. “He’s been a joy to coach,” Bennett said. “I love how contagious that is for our players.”