CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The bottom line was, Cal led a basketball game against the nation’s fifth-ranked team for 44 of 45 minutes. In the end, Cuonzo Martin’s team didn’t know how to win, even with the presence of two heralded freshmen — Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown — who are expected to be NBA lottery picks.
London Perrantes made a 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining in overtime Tuesday night, and Virginia survived a poor shooting night and beat Cal 63-62 for the Cavaliers’ ninth consecutive victory.
“It wasn’t too clean,” Perrantes, the junior guard, said of the shot from in front of the Virginia bench. “I just felt like if I had a little bit of daylight I was going to let it go.”
Perrantes’ shot was the biggest, coming on a night when the Cavaliers fell well short of their 77.3 scoring average but hit all the ones they had to have. That included three 3-pointers from Malcolm Brogdon, who missed the nine other shots he took.
His second 3 came in a 9-0 run that moved Virginia from a 50-43 deficit to a 52-50 lead, it’s first all night, with 1:04 left in regulation, and his last one erased most of a five-point deficit with 53 seconds left in overtime, setting the stage for Perrantes’ game-winner. Overall, Virginia made just 21 of 54 shots (38.9 percent).
Brown scored 18 and Jordan Mathews 16 for the Golden Bears (9-3), whose five-game winning streak was snapped. Brown had an opportunity at the end of regulation going one-on-one against Brogdon at the top of the key, but as he tried to make his move, Brogdon knocked the ball away.
“Brogdon made a tremendous play, as an elite defender would do,” Martin said.
In overtime, three points each from Brown and Wallace and a putback by Rabb gave Cal a 60-54 lead with 2:25 remaining, but Isaiah Wilkins’ putback turned into a 3-point play for Virginia, and Brogdon followed two free throws by Brown with his third 3-pointer of the game to make it 62-60.
After a miss by the Golden Bears, Perrantes caught a pass in front of the Cavaliers’ bench and swished home his second 3-pointer to complete the comeback.
“Both teams did enough. We just came up a little short,” Martin said.
The Golden Bears led by as many as 11 twice in the second half, the last time at 46-35 with 13 minutes to go, but a basket by Gill, a dunk by Reuter and Perrantes’ drive pulled the Cavaliers within 46-41, bringing the crowd out of its malaise and into the game. The Bears pushed the lead back to seven three times, the last at 50-43, but they scored just two points in the last 7½ minutes of regulation as Virginia rallied.
Perrantes scored on a drive, Brogdon followed a Cal miss with a 3-pointer for only his second field goal of the night, and Gill followed another miss by the Bears with a basket that pulled Virginia even for the first time, whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
Neither team scored for more than three minutes, and when Isaiah Wilkins finally stole the ball and fed Darius Thompson for a dunk, the Cavaliers had a 52-50 lead and John Paul Jones Arena seemed to be vibrating.
Brown, however, hit a pair of free throws with 41.5 seconds left, and neither team scored again in regulation.
Cal’s last victory against a ranked team came when it beat top-ranked Arizona on Feb. 1, 2014.