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Across the two halves, Virginia allowed Arizona State to score 19 unanswered points. Virginia is usually the team that turns 8-minute scoring droughts into comfortable wins. ASU already had significant wins this weekend in wrestling -- breaking Penn State’s 60 match winning streak -- and football -- knocking off off PAC 12 North leader Oregon State.  Would the Sun Devils be able to hold on and end the longest winning streak in college hoops?

 

Arizona State45
Virginia48

 

 

 

Positive

A win is a win is a win. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a Bennett team allow 19 straight points, but in the crunch Mamadi got his paint touches, Casey Morsell became the player we need him to be, and we held Arizona State to just 10 points over the game’s final 13 minutes. Oh, and what’s Bennett’s record when the team holds opponents to under 50 points?  90 - 2. Something we’ve done 5 times this year already.

Positive

Casey Morsell.  He lead the team in scoring with 19 points, was a perfect 4 - 4 from the free throw line, and established his mid-range games. All the scouting reports on Morsell said that he was not a 3-point shooter -- he’s not, he went 1 - 5 from today -- but that he was great at getting to the rim.  He did that today going 6 - 8 inside the arc displaying a complete mid-range game. The prescription: Stop. Shooting. Threes.  STAT.

Negative

3-point shooting.  Before today, there were only three teams in the entire country worse at shooting the 3 than Virginia:  Southern Mississippi, Kennesaw State and Charleston Southern. Outside of Morsell, we didn’t suck so bad -- Huff made his only 3, Diakite went 2 - 4 and Chase Coleman made a big 3 -- but we may only have passed Texas A&M and Northwestern on today’s effort.

Positive

Free throws. Again. Diakite and Morsell made all seven of their free throws for a perfect night from the line.

Negative

Bobby Hurley. Watching this young Bobby Knight wannabe, it’s easy to remember why Duke is so disliked. Screaming, scowling and yelling, it was a two-hour tantrum.

Positive

Air Force Reserve Commercials. Yours truly and StLou Hoo are both alumni of Detachment 890, and there are few things that will get my blood pumping like a C-17 tactical takeoff (at the 53 second mark.)

 

Negative

Arizona State scored 22 fast break points. I’m pretty sure that I’ve never seen a Tony Bennett team yield 22 points off the break. We kept the pace slow and the score down, and if you told me that a team would run it’s way to 22 points, I would have predicted a loss. But the Cavs held the Sun Devils to 42 shots and just 5 made threes for the game. It all balanced out.

Positive

Chase Coleman. The walk-on plays like he knows he belongs and he may be the most important player on the bench. Kihei Clark is going to need a breather or two and Coleman had a big 3 in his 5 minutes of action. He’s probably only going to get 3 - 4 minutes a game, but he’s always going to get those 4 minutes.

Negative

Tomas Woldetensae. He’s having a rough start to his UVa career and this game was no exception, unfortunately.

Negative

Tournaments in ballrooms. The new floor was so squeaky my wife could hear the game in the kids’ rooms, and the players had traction troubles in each game. Today there were 4 travels in the first half that were the result of bad traction.

Positives

Cash-grab tournament championship.  We’ve won seven straight now:  the 2013 Corpus Christi Challenge, the 2014 Barclays Center Classic, the 2015 Charleston Classic, the 2016 Emerald Coast Classic, the 2017 NIT Season Tip-Off and last year's Battle 4 Atlantis.

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(n) Arizona State (November 24, 2019)