The Virginia Cavaliers’ up and down season came to a close on Wednesday night in the NIT quarterfinals. The Cavs had a 19-game home winning streak at John Paul Jones Arena going into the game against Iowa, but the Hawkeyes didn’t let the impressive streak phase them. Iowa outplayed the Wahoos in a high-scoring affair by Virginia’s standards, and earned a spot in the NIT semifinals in Madison Square Garden by beating the Cavaliers 75-64. The Hawkeyes led by as many as 14 points and shot 26-53 from the field, including 8-17 from outside. Junior guard Roy Devyn Marble contributed 24 of the Hawkeyes’ 75 points.
For Virginia, the loss will be difficult to overcome and it will burn in the minds of the Cavalier basketball team going into next year. They let a team that had only 2 road wins all season – against Penn State and Northwestern – beat them on their home court.
Despite the tough loss, Virginia did have some bright spots in their final game of the year. Freshman Justin Anderson had a career high 24 points, including 5 three pointers. Anderson also contributed on the defensive end with 5 blocks and 3 steals. However, the Cavaliers’ leader, Joe Harris, was simply not present when the team needed him most. Harris, the second leading scorer in the ACC, had only 11 points and one field goal in the second half.
Fortunately for the Cavaliers, they will only be losing Jontel Evans to graduation this year. If Virginia can find a point guard that can distribute the ball to their ample young talent next year, they will have a shot at winning the ACC, but tonight will be gloomy in Charlottesville.
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