ATLANTA (VirginiaSports.com) - No. 9 Virginia (14-3, 10-1 ACC) outscored Georgia Tech (9-7, 5-5 ACC), 37-23 in the second half behind 14 points from Kihei Clark (Woodland Hills, Calif.) to win 57-49 on the road at McCamish Pavilion.
Trey Murphy III (Durham, N.C.) led Virginia with 18 points, scoring 13 in the first half. Clark scored all 14 of his points in the second half and had six assists. Sam Hauser (Stevens Point, Wis.) added eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
Virginia shot 49 percent from the field, shooting 64 percent in the second half. The Cavaliers held Georgia Tech to 36 percent shooting. UVA had 17 turnovers, but outrebounded Georgia Tech, 35-21. Jose Alvarado led the Yellow Jackets with 18 points
HOW IT HAPPENED
Murphy III scored the first seven points for Virginia, opening the game with a 3-pointer to give UVA a 7-2 advantage. Georgia Tech had a 13-2 run to lead 15-9 at the 9:16 mark. Both teams suffered scoring droughts in the first half. Reece Beekman (Baton Rouge, La.) hit a three to end the drought for UVA and Hauser added a jumper. Murphy III scored the final six points of the first half for UVA to lead with 13, but the Cavaliers trailed 26-20 at the break.
The Cavaliers came out with a 9-0 run to begin the second half and take a 29-26 lead. The Yellow Jackets scored six-straight to go back in front, 32-29. Virginia cut the lead to one several times. Hauser hit a jumper to pull within one, then Clark made a jumper to put UVA back in front. Clark then hit a three, Murphy III had a three and Tomas Woldetensae (Bologna, Italy) added a layup for a 12-1 run to give UVA a 53-45 lead 3:15 to play.
THE GAME BALL GOES TO
Kihei Clark sparked the UVA offense in the second half, going 4-for-6 from 3-point range. He had five points in UVA’s 12-1 run in the second half to give it the final lead of the game.
FROM TONY BENNETT
On Georgia Tech’s strategy to guard Jay (Huff) and Sam (Hauser)”
“Some other teams have had done that a little bit lately to a certain extent, but with them putting (Jose) Alvarado on Sam and almost, it wasn’t like a triangle-and-two, but they were not going to leave those guys. With us, them going under ball screens and sort of staying in the lane on Kihei (Clark) and Reece (Beekman), which we just needed to make some outside shots to loosen it up. Then we made some adjustments, moved Sam a little more, tried to go inside to Jay. We did at the start of the second half but then they started fronting and I kind of just tried to wind our guys up at halftime saying, ‘throw caution to the wind, but be sound, but be aggressive. You got to go make some plays, you got to go make some plays. You got to get into the paint, and Kihei shoot it. If they go onto the screen let it ride and shoot it’. And he did that. I thought he played terrific and our defense held us in there in the first half. We needed it because we were struggling, and it held us kept us attached. Then we started going and it was just one of those games that was you know really hard fought.”
- The Cavaliers improved to 5-1 on the road (all in ACC action)
- UVA outscored Georgia Tech 37-23 in the second half
- UVA held its third opponent to fewer than 50 points (3-0)
- Murphy III’s 18 points matched his ACC high
- Sam Hauser (8 points) had a game-high 10 rebounds
- Reece Beekman matched a career high with five rebounds
- Huff (4 blocks) recorded his 12th multi-block game (39th career)
- Kadin Shedrick (2 minutes) returned to action after missing eight games with an illness
Virginia returns home to host North Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.