Cold Shooting Doesn't Deter Cavs vs. Northern Iowa

By: Nate Sulham Email
By: Nate Sulham Email

For the first 10 minutes of Saturday's win over Northern Iowa, the Cavalier offense looked every bit like one that hadn't played a game in two weeks thanks to exam break. The Hoos had just two field goals and struggled to find a rhythm.

"I wouldn't have said that we'd be rusty or anything coming into this game," senior guard Joe Harris said. "We got good looks, the ball just wasn't going into the hole. We were happy with the shots that we were getting."

With his team needing a spark, Tony Bennett made the move to a four-guard lineup, with Justin Anderson sliding over to power forward. The move paid off -- an 11-2 run gave the Cavs a 10-point lead late in the half.

"That flexibility of at times playing Justin at the four and going with four guards and getting more ballhandling on the floor and opening the floor for some penetrations and kicks helped us," Tony Bennett said.

"I feel comfortable playing the point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center. I feel comfortable guarding anyone on the court and I feel comfortable going against anyone on the court, and I say that with all humility," Anderson added. "I just want to make sure I do whatever it takes so my team wins because at the end of the day that's the most important thing to me."

With the offense having issues -- Virginia shot just 29% from the field in the first half --the Cavaliers turned to their bread and butter: the pack-line defense. UVa forced Northern Iowa into 13 turnovers and held the Panthers to just 31 percent shooting for the game.

"There's been times in practice when we didn't make shots and our defense has made up for it," Anderson said. "Our defense is tremendous when we're flying around, staying on our feet, guarding people, we're in that gap. When we're playing that pack-line like it should be played, it's tremendous for us."

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