No. 12 Virginia (18-5) beat No. 4 Louisville (19-5) by 16 points Monday night, but the Cavaliers actually trailed at halftime. Indeed, Virginia trailed 34-32 at the break but outscored Louisville 39-21 in the second half to win, 71-55.
“I think it’s all about our energy,” Virginia forward Isaiah Wilkins said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Our energy level was really low in the first half. We talked about it at halftime and we came out with a lot more energy and a lot more life. It worked out for us.”
Senior guard London Perrantes scored a team-high 18 points for Virginia.
“He’s always giving us a couple big shots,” Wilkins said. “He’s our floor general and our leader. We rely on him, and he really came through for us tonight.”
Wilkins had a monster all-around game – 13 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks – while Darius Thompson chipped in with 10 points off the bench. Virginia has now won four straight games against Louisville.
“We know that they’re a great team, just like all the other teams in the ACC, and it’s just gone our way,” Wilkins said. “A couple teams in the ACC have our number, so it can just depend on every night.”
With the win, Virginia tied No. 14 Florida State (20-4, 8-3) for second place in the ACC. They both trail No. 8 North Carolina (21-4, 9-2) for the top spot in the conference.
“There’s no bad teams in the ACC,” Wilkins said. “Every night can be somebody’s night, so you got to come in and you got to really execute and play hard. At this point, everybody knows what everybody else is doing. It just comes down to execution and how hard you’re playing.”
Virginia plays at Virginia Tech (16-6) this Sunday before hosting No. 18 Duke (18-5) on Feb. 15. Tip-off against Virginia Tech is slated for 6:30 p.m. ET.