CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - In its first game following a long layoff, the #16 Virginia men’s basketball team dominated William & Mary 76-40 on Tuesday at John Paul Jones Arena.
The Cavaliers were playing for the first time since December 4th against Kent State.
UVA had to ‘pause’ all basketball-related activities on December 9th, due to COVID-19 issues in the program.
The Wahoos returned to the practice court for the first time on Saturday, and after just three days, put together a balanced performance against the Tribe.
Head coach Tony Bennett says, “I think our guys came out focused, and ready, and looked fairly sharp. They’re probably going to say ‘See coach, practice is overrated. We can rest for 10 days and go in those stretches,’ but no, they came out ready, knocked some shots, and I thought we played fairly alert defensively.”
“We were in pretty good shape throughout quarantine because we’re doing different conditioning things,” says junior Trey Murphy III. “I know our coaches aren’t going to put us in a bad position and like try to kill us on the first day back. I think that was a little bit of help as well. It showed today. I thought we were looking a lot fresher than most teams coming out of a quarantine. I just really put that up to the coaches, just them being really smart.”
Twelve different players scored for Virginia in the victory, led by 15 points from Murphy III.
The junior had 12 points in the first half, and nearly matched the entire William & Mary team, as UVA led 36-14 at halftime.
Bennett says, “I thought he looked sharp, and was ready to play, and had the kind of energy and focus, if you if you want to use that word, that we need from him, always.”
The Cavaliers had a number of dunks against the Tribe, and shot 50.9 percent from the field (28-of-55).
They also had 16 assists, led by four from both Kihei Clark and Reece Beekman.
Kaden Shedrick had 10 points and 7 rebounds off the bench, and was the only UVA player besides Murphy to score in double figures.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, actually,” says Shedrick. “I felt like I was in better shape than I was before the quarantine, so that was good. It felt good to go there today. I don’t really remember the last time we played, so it really felt good to be out.”
Virginia (4-1) will be back in action against #1 Gonzaga on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.