CHARLOTTESVILLE (WAVY) – With 14,593 watching inside the John Paul Jones Arena, and millions more watching on national television, Devon Hall stepped to the free throw line. The clock indicated only :15 seconds left to play, with third-ranked Virginia holding a slim 77-74 lead over seventh-ranked and cross-border rival North Carolina, and conference standing hanging in the balance.
Hall, only a redshirt-sophomore, missed his previous two attempts, but calmly and cooly knocked down the next two, extending the Cavaliers’ lead back to five, and ultimately putting the finishing touches on his team’s 79-74 win.
“It’s hard to miss those free throws, then come back and stick the ones that he did,” said Virginia head coach Tony Bennett.
Indeed Hall, who played at Cape Henry Collegiate School in Virginia Beach, may have grown up a little bit in that moment. His numbers will say he’s grown even more so over the past season. Hall only averaged 1.8 points and 10 minutes of playing time over his freshman season.
This season, Hall has doubled his minutes, is averaging 4.4 points a night, and has now started the last 13 straight outings. His offensive output may not jump off the stat sheet, but he poured in career-best 11 points against the Tar Heels and added nine more at Clemson.
“I’ve worked so much, working on different aspects of my game, in terms of shooting, my mid-range game, being able to finish stuff, it’s just a matter of me staying confident, because I know I can do it,” said Hall after the win over UNC.