It’s gotten to the point where the Virginia Cavaliers don’t even need to play a full 40 minutes each game to dispose of the most of the teams in the ACC. On Saturday afternoon, the Cavaliers were struggling at the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, but then they unleashed a 22-1 run to demolish Georgia Tech 64-45 in Atlanta.
While Virginia’s defense will get much of the credit and rightfully so — Georgia Tech didn’t make a single field goal in the final nine minutes, 52 seconds of the game — another big reason the Cavaliers (19-5, 10-1 ACC) were able to pull away was rebounding. Virginia (13) had more than half as many offensive rebounds as the Yellow Jackets had total rebounds (25).
Georgia Tech shot a porous 36.7 percent from the field, but the Yellow Jackets were only able to collect six offensive rebounds. Georgia Tech went 0-for-9 over that near 10-minute span, and managed only one offensive rebound during that time, which produced no points as the follow-up shot was missed too.
Virginia’s rebounding domination was led by guard Malcolm Brogdon, who has been one of the conference’s best overall players over the last three weeks. Once again, Brogdon stuffed the stat sheet Saturday, leading Virginia in both points (14) and rebounds (11). Brogdon is a mere 6-foot-5, so that kind of a double-double is a monstrous effort for a player like him. Akil Mitchell had eight rebounds to go with eight points, while reserved forward Anthony Gill also grabbed six rebounds.
Georgia Tech (12-12, 3-8 ACC) center Daniel Miller led his team with seven rebounds and to his credit, wasn’t far off from a triple-double. Miller finished with nine points, seven rebounds and six blocks. But unlike Virginia’s team effort, Miller didn’t get much help, and not even he could break the ice in the final 10 minutes when Georgia Tech fell apart, going from up by two points at 44-42 to losing by 19.
In total, Virginia collected 46 rebounds to Georgia Tech’s 25. Add that to the seven steals the Cavaliers got, and Virginia simply got a ton of extra possessions that ended up being the difference in the game. UVA didn’t shoot that much better than Georgia Tech (39.6 percent), but the Cavaliers’ dominance on the glass led to an overwhelming advantage at the free throw line, where Virginia went 17-for-19 while Georgia Tech was a pathetic 3-for-13.
As tough as Virginia is defensively, when the Cavaliers can control the glass like they did vs. Georgia Tech, there are few teams in the country who will beat UVA.