Perrantes leads No. 23 men's basketball over Pittsburgh
Virginia's lone senior dropped 22 points in Senior Day victory
Looking to avenge its January loss against Pittsburgh, the No. 23 Virginia men’s basketball team dominated its final game of the regular season against the Panthers (15-16, 4-14 ACC) at Senior Day, 67-42.
Prior to the game, Virginia (21-9, 11-7 ACC) honored senior point guard London Perrantes as part of its Senior Day tradition. Perrantes’ recorded start No. 130 of his Virginia career — the most starts of any player in Virginia basketball history.
Perrantes got going early Saturday, hitting a layup and-one for his first three points as part of the Cavaliers’ 10-0 to start the afternoon. Perrantes made his first three ball after two-consecutive triples by freshman guard Ty Jerome, and the Cavaliers jumped out to a 19-2 lead.
Virginia suffocated the Panthers continuously throughout the first half. Pittsburgh did not make a field goal in the game until sophomore guard Cameron Johnson converted on a layup with nine minutes remaining. The Panthers hit only one of nine three pointers in the first half — a far cry from the triple-show they put up against Virginia in the January game.
Pittsburgh also began the game without its star senior forwards Jamel Artis and Michael Young, who were benched for being late to practice Saturday morning. Both would sub in after the second media timeout.
Virginia carried a 32-15 advantage into the second half of the game. Perrantes opened up the scoring with another three, followed by a put-back by sophomore center Jack Salt after a Pittsburgh turnover. Artis and Young helped the Panthers garner some momentum in the first part of the half, but Virginia answered each time with layups from junior guard Devon Hall and another three from Jerome. Pittsburgh continually turned the ball over in the middle of the half — preventing the comeback from coming to fruition.
Perrantes hit his final three-pointer at John Paul Jones Arena with 2:17 left, and shortly after was subbed out for Jerome — Perrantes’ likely successor at the point guard position next season.
Perrantes led the Cavaliers with 22 points on 8-12 shooting, and Jerome chipped in 13 points. The Cavaliers made 11-22 of their three point attempts while holding Pittsburgh to only 4-20. Jack Salt was fierce on the boards with nine rebounds, and junior guard Darius Thompson had a solid eight points off the bench.
Virginia now awaits its seeding for the ACC Tournament, which begins Tuesday at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Cavaliers could earn as high as a four seed or as low as a seven seed depending on the outcomes of the rest of Saturday’s ACC matchups.