Winning Streak Ends at 16; No. 4 UVa Suffers 72-70 Defeat at No. 1 Duke
The Virginia men's basketball team lost its first game of the season on Saturday at Duke, as the 4th ranked Cavaliers fell 72-70 against the top-ranked Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
DURHAM, N.C. (WVIR) - The Virginia men's basketball team lost its first game of the season on Saturday at Duke, as the 4th ranked Cavaliers fell 72-70 against the top-ranked Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Head coach Tony Bennett says, "I told our guys in the locker room, it wasn't our effort, it was just enough possessions where we were a bit unsound, whether we didn't get a blockout, or reached on the ball, or had a careless turnover. To beat a team like Duke, in this setting, you have to be at an 'A' or 'A-minus' in those compartments, or those areas, and I think we were just a little unsound."
The Wahoos are ranked #1 in the Coaches Poll, which made the matchup the first #1 vs. #1 since 2016, and only the 4th in college basketball history.
UVa (16-1, 4-1 ACC) made just 3-of-17 three-point shots against Duke (17.6 percent), after hitting 13 three-pointers in its previous game against Virginia Tech.
RJ Barrett (30) and Zion Williamson (27) combined to score 57 of the Blue Devils 70 points.
Williamson made 10-of-16 shots from the field, and also grabbed nine rebounds.
Virginia had balanced scoring, as De'Andre Hunter (18), Kyle Guy (14), Ty Jerome (14), and Braxton Key (11) all reached double-figures.
Duke led 37-32 at halftime, and the game was close throughout.
Neither team held a lead of more than seven points, there were 14 ties and 15 lead changes, and it was a one-possession game for a 14½-minute stretch in the second half.
Guy says, "I think it was just the offensive rebounding they had. And they got in the paint. Any time they got in the paint, if they made it, they made it. If they missed it, they got it back and made it. It's going to be tough to win when we don't rebound the way we're supposed to.
"It's just getting stops," says Hunter. "We didn't get the stops down the stretch that we needed. They got a couple big plays that really ignited the crowd, and it was tough to fight back from that, in the little time that we had."
The Blue Devils had a major advantage at the free throw line, as the home team made 18-of-31 attempts, while the Wahoos were 11-of-17.
The sixteen consecutive wins to begin the season was the Cavaliers' best start since going 19-0 to open the 2014-15 season.
Jerome says, "We had too many breakdowns. They touched our paint too much. We gambled a lot, myself included. Gave up a lot of offensive rebounds. Missed a lot of shots that we normally make. But we'll see them again at home, that's the good news."
The rematch is scheduled for February 9th at John Paul Jones Arena.
UVa returns to action at home against Wake Forest on Tuesday at 9 PM.