NEW YORK– No. 14 West Virginia couldn’t overcome a poor second half and fell to No. 10 Virginia 70-54 on Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony Gill led the Cavaliers with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon scored 14. London Perrantes added 13 and Darius Thompson added 10.
Nine days after undergoing an appendectomy, Perrantes turned it up in the second half and helped the Cavaliers hand the Mountaineers (7-1) their first loss of the season. UVA went on a 40-17 run after trailing 32-20.
The Cavaliers (8-1) struggled with WVU’s pressure defense. The Mountaineers forced 19 turnovers and had 10 steals.
UVA committed several turnovers in the beginning of the second half, but they hardly missed a shot and took a 60-53 lead with 3:58 to play.
Perrantes made his first shot of the game with 18:16 to go in the second half when he nailed a 3-pointer, pulling the Cavaliers within three.
Williams ended a six-minute scoring drought for WVU with 16:04 to play, which started in the first half.
Three minutes later, Jevon Carter had a costly turnover, trying to make a behind-the-back pass. Perrantes capitalized and connected from beyond-the-arc to put UVA in front 42-40 for the first time since the start of the game.
“I don’t have any idea what he was thinking,” head coach Bob Huggins said. “He had a layup. I don’t know what he was thinking. It is hard to imagine that you are really into winning the game and you make a play like that. I don’t understand it. It’s a first for me.”
That started an 11-3 run that gave the Cavaliers a seven-point lead and they were in charge the rest of the game. Perrantes scored all of his points in the second half.
The Cavaliers shot 74 percent in the second half (14 of 19) and 63 percent for the game.
WVU shot 40 percent from the field and just 14 percent from beyond-the-arc. The Mountaineers made 12-of-21 from the line.
This was the Mountaineers’ second appearance in the Jimmy V Classic. They lost to Davidson in 2008. WVU is now 32-45 all-time at Madison Square Garden.
The Mountaineers will return home to take on UL Monroe on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 5 p.m.