Danny Manning is still looking for his first ACC road win — still looking for his first conference win over a ranked opponent with the Deacs.
The Deacs played even basketball for 31 minutes before a 19-4 Virginia run carried the Cavs to a 79-62 win Sunday at John Paul Jones Arena.
“I thought tonight’s game for us was a tale of two halves,” Wake coach Danny Manning said. “I thought we came out in the first half and did a pretty good job of getting some decent looks at the offensive end. We were able to go into the half with the game where we wanted.”
A John Collins bucket with 10:19 left in the game brought the Deacs even with Virginia at 46-46.
UVA scored the next 10 points and Wake never got closer than eight points away the rest of the way.
“The second half, Virginia came out defensively shut down a lot of things that we were getting in the first half. We didn’t help ourselves with how we shot the ball behind the arc,” Manning said. “We went zone a couple possessions and they knocked down a couple of contested long 3s. Then London (Perrantes) got hot. He went 4-of-5 from 3. I thought three or four of those shots we had good defense, but he hit the shots.”
Perrantes led UVA with 24 points.
“He’s a really good player, but we face that every night in our league,” Manning said. “That’s no disrespect to London at all. I think he’s a terrific player. Tonight he came out and made some big-time shots and some big-time plays.”
The Deacs went cold behind the arc in the second half, hitting just 1-of-9 attempts in the final 20 minutes (6-of-21 overall).
“Shooting the 3-point ball is part of our arsenal. We didn’t shoot it well tonight, especially in the second half. We’re capable of making those shots, and we have during the course of the year,” Manning said. “You give Virginia credit for contesting those shots, but if we play them again and get those looks, we’ll take them. Also in the second half, some of those 3-points were rushed and hurried trying to play catch up.”
Manning played his starters a bit more Sunday night, opting to not use Sam Japhet-Mathias at all, and with Doral Moore logging just one minute of action. Reserve forward Greg McClinton fouled out in just five minutes of play.
“We had opportunities. We just weren’t able to convert,” Manning said. “We didn’t get the type of production that we usually get from the bench.”
Sophomore forward John Collins led the Deacs with 16 points. Fellow sophomore Bryant Crawford chipped in 15 points and had six assists against a pair of turnovers.
The Deacs never were able to make a push late after digging themselves a double-digit hole to climb out of.
“When you’re down and trying to play catch up — trying to make something happen, we rushed some shots. We have to do a better job of attacking the paint when we get the other team in the bonus,” Manning said. “We got Virginia in the bonus at a pretty early stage, and didn’t get to the line enough in my estimation, in terms of us putting pressure on them by driving the basketball.”
Manning was asked about the difficulty he’s had winning on the road in the ACC.
“You look at numbers and you can skew them any way you want to. Going into this game, our five losses that we had, we were leading for 90-something minutes, the other team led for 80-something and it was tied for 20-something,” he said. “So we’re doing things that give us a chance to be successful. We were winning tonight at halftime. We’re doing some things that give us a chance to be successful. We just have to be a team that finishes better. We’re going to continue to scrap.
“We expect to win every time we go out. We’re trying to accelerate experience with the team we have.”