Virginia stops Judah Mintz and SU

Virginia stops Judah Mintz and SU

The Cavaliers limited Mintz to only five points and one trip to the charity stripe.

Judah Mintz #3 of the Syracuse Orange drives past Ryan Dunn #13 of the Virginia Cavaliers in the first half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on December 2, 2023 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Judah Mintz attempts to drive past Ryan Dunn of the Virginia Cavaliers in Saturday’s game.

Syracuse men’s basketball fell for the third time in the past five games, suffering an 84-62 blowout loss to the Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers limited the Orange’s offense to 40% shooting from the field and 5-of-20 from three.

Sophomore guard Judah Mintz struggled to get up his usual looks at the rim and get to the lane. The Cavalier defense kept Mintz to only five points in the night, all in the first half.

The guard failed to make a shot from behind the arc and only got to the free-throw line once in the matchup, where he only made one attempt. Mintz was averaging over 20 points per game going into Virginia.

There was a clear effort from Virginia to stop Mintz and make the game a defensive affair.

“They do a really good job at having 10 eyes on the ball, you know. They always know where the ball is at, they know if its being driven and they have a very good understanding of where they need to be at on the floor,” head coach Adrian Autry said in his postgame press conference. “That’s why they have the number one defense pretty much every year.”

Sophomore guard J.J. Starling picked up the slack with a team-leading 16 points on 50% efficiency, while sophomore forward Maliq Brown added 10 points and five rebounds off the bench on a nearly perfect four-of-five shooting.

Still, the team was not able to find its shot from three.

Syracuse shot a collective 25% from deep, led by a 1-of-6 night for sophomore guard Justin Taylor, and a 0-of-5 performance for sophomore forward Chris Bell.

Bell has had an up-and-down season, but Autry was pleased with what he saw from the forward.

“I think he had a couple of wide-open looks that he typically makes. I think that’s just the way basketball works,” Autry said. “I think some of it is him and some of it is us. We have to do a better job of finding him and hunting him.”

With Syracuse missing looks and failing to get in the lane, the Orange handed Virginia a win that on many other nights could have gone the other way.

Isaac McKneely led the way for the home with 22 points on 72% shooting from the field and 75% from behind the arc. He was also one of the guards tasked with limiting Mintz and Starling.

The Orange will next face Cornell on Tuesday in the JMA Wireless Dome. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.