Loving takes bittersweet lesson from Virginia loss
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Virginia coach Tony Bennett believed his No. 10 Cavaliers had a deep bench.
He was right.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 22 points, his third straight game with at least 20, and Darius Thompson had 12 points in place of starting guard London Perrantes, leading Virginia to a 64-58 defeat of Ohio State on Tuesday night.
"We are veteran team that has depth," Bennett said. "I’ve talked about that a lot this year so it was an opportunity to see if we had legitimate depth. That showed against a team that’s talented but isn’t a veteran team."
Perrantes had an appendectomy Sunday, and Bennett did not know when the junior starter who averages 10 points, 5.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds, would return.
"We have a really deep team," forward Isaiah Wilkins said. "Of course, we’ll miss him but we have guys who can step up for as long as he’s out and when he’s back, we’ll have a full team again."
The Cavaliers (6-1) won their fifth straight, but it was the first time in the streak they did not score at least 80. Anthony Gill added 10 points and eight rebounds for Virginia.
Despite a different tempo than what the Cavaliers are used to, Wilkins said the players stuck to their plan.
"We continue to run our stuff and run it hard," he said. "I believe in our system and our coaches. That’s a young team over there, but they have a lot of talent. They played us hard. It was a good test for us."
Ohio State (2-4) lost its fourth in a row. Marc Loving had 19 points for the Buckeyes.
Keita Bates-Diop added 15, including a 3-pointer to pull the Buckeyes to 61-58 before Brogdon hit a pair of free throws.
"That’s one of the best kids, honestly, that I’ve seen because he’s so patient, he’s so smooth," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said of Brogdon. "He’s so efficient when he plays."
But Loving hopes going toe-to-toe with the Cavaliers is a sign of better days ahead for the young Buckeyes. "It’s bittersweet. It’s bitter because we lost but it feels good to know that we’re getting better each and every game to the point where we’re able to compete with a top-10 team."
A TALE OF HALVES
The first half was one to forget for Gill, who missed his only shot and had no points. He responded with 10 points and five of his eight rebounds after the break. "I took myself out of the game the first half," he said. "I’m not going to help my team that way. I need to be aggressive the whole game and help the team the best I can."
Virginia: The Cavaliers are 10-6 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. … The last time the Cavaliers scored 80 or more in five straight was a seven-game stretch from Jan. 16-Feb. 7, 2001. … The teams lasst played each other Jan. 25, 1981, in Charlottesville when the No. 2 Cavaliers won 89-73 behind 40 points by Ralph Sampson.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes 6-8 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge since they began participation in 2002.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes play the second of three straight home games Saturday against VMI.