SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- This was supposed to be the season that No. 14 Notre Dame finally had an Atlantic Coast Conference answer for No. 12 Virginia.
The Cavaliers had other ideas -- again.
Battling through an illness, London Perrantes scored 22 points and made every big shot at every moment to hand the Fighting Irish their first loss at home, 71-54, on Tuesday.
"Every game you step into, you just don't know when you're going to be right and the other team is going to be off," Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett said. "You just want to be ready. I don't think Notre Dame was at its best."
Not even close.
Virginia (16-3; 6-2 ACC) has beaten Notre Dame all five times in league play. Each one has been decisive. Notre Dame (17-4; 6-2) is 1-4 against ranked teams this season. Its previous three losses -- to No. 1 Villanova, No. 20 Purdue and No. 6 Florida State -- were by a combined 16 points.
A Perrantes' 3-pointer late in the shot clock pushed the Cavaliers up by 11 with 3:25 remaining. It seemed double that for an Irish team that just couldn't get anything going.
Notre Dame scored one basket the final 5:20.
As few answers as the Irish had for any of the main guys for Virginia, they also had none for reserve guard Ty Jerome. He came into the contest averaging 2.1 points, then busted loose for a season-high eight, all in 10 second-half minutes.
"Who would have thought Ty Jerome would do what he did," Bennett said. "I like what I saw."
Notre Dame allowed 44 points in a second half that saw Virginia shoot 48.1 percent from the field and 60 percent from 3-point range.
"Doing those little things is something you need to do to win," Irish captain Steve Vasturia said.
The Irish were out-rebounded 38-22. Ten Cavalier offensive rebounds led to 15 second-chance points.
"We always try to be a good position defender team," Bennett said. "They do shoot a lot of 3s. They missed some open ones."
Notre Dame entered Tuesday's game having lost nine straight games to Virginia dating back to its lone win way back in 1981 when the Cavaliers were ranked No. 1 with a guy named Ralph Sampson manning the middle. Virginia didn't need Sampson on this night.
Notre Dame finished with a season-low for points (26) in a first half that saw the home team lead by one and trail by as many as seven. A late Marial Shayok bucket gave Virginia a one-point lead at the break.
The Irish were off their efficient shooting game for much of the opening 20 minutes. They shot 44 percent from the field, but only 2-of-10 from 3-point range.
Thrown early into a seven-point hole, the Irish battled back behind the interior presence of Colson. He scored nine straight at one point, including a bucket off a sweet Matt Farrell left-handed laser pass, to give the Irish a 20-19 lead.
After erupting for a career-high 30 points Saturday against Syracuse, V.J. Beachem went scoreless (0-of-4 from the floor) in the first half. He finished with three points on 1-of-10 from the floor, 0-for-5 from 3.
"V.J. had great looks," Irish coach Mike Brey said. "He just missed them."
Colson led everyone with 14 points in a first half that saw the league's leading rebounder (10.9) go without one the first 20 minutes.
It was one of those nights for him. And the Irish. Again.
-- Tuesday's game started a stretch of three of four and four of six on the road, where Virginia is 3-1 in ACC play with victories at Louisville, Boston College and Clemson.
-- Freshman G Kyle Guy returned Tuesday to his home state for the first time in his collegiate career. Guy earned Indiana Mr. Basketball last spring after averaging 23.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists at Lawrence Central.
-- Notre Dame (1.7) and Virginia (1.5) ranked first and second in the league for assist/turnover ratio.
-- Virginia leads the all-time series 10-1, including 4-0 at Purcell Pavilion.