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Live Blog: #8 UVA faces Virginia Tech in ACC basketball clash

uva virginia techAFP editor Chris Graham leads our live blog as #8 UVA (12-1, 1-0 ACC) faces Virginia Tech (11-3, 0-1 ACC) in ACC basketball action on Wednesday. The game tips off at 9 p.m.

Broadcast Information

The Virginia-Virginia Tech contest will be televised on the ACC Network and streamed on ACC Network Extra (ESPN3.com) and ESPN App, and broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network, VirginiaSports.com and Virginia Athletics mobile app on iTunes or Android. Live statistics will be located on VirginiaSports.com and the Virginia Sports app.

Players to watch: Virginia

  • Kyle Guy leads the team in scoring at 15.7 points per game and has reached double figures in 11 games, including a career-high 29 points at VCU (11/17/17) and 21 vs. Lehigh (12/2/17).
  • Devon Hall has averaged 11.5 points and is shooting 88.1 percent (30 of 34) from the charity stripe and 43.9 percent (18 of 41) from 3-point range.
  • Ty Jerome, the reigning ACC player of the week, is averaging 9.7 points.
  • Isaiah Wilkins is averaging 7.3 points and team-highs in rebounds (7.5), blocked shots (1.4) and steals (1.3).

Players to watch: Virginia Tech

  • Ahmed Hill (a 6’5” guard) is the Hokies’ leading scorer, at 15.6 points a game, shooting 56.1 percent from the floor and 50.6 percent from three.
  • Justin Bibbs (also a 6’5” guard) is scoring 14.6 points a game, on 54.6 percent shooting from the field and 41.0 percent shooting from three.
  • Freshman Nickeil Alexander-Walker has been a nice addition to the rotation, scoring 12.7 points in just 24.8 minutes a game.
  • Big man Kerry Blackshear, a 6’10” force in the post, averages 12.1 points and 6.6 rebounds and is shooting 63.6 percent from the floor.
  • Point guard Justin Robinson scores 10.4 points and dishes out 5.6 assists a game, with a nice 2.5-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Keys to the game for UVA

  • Keeping Tech off the foul line: Dribble penetration is the engine for coach Buzz Williams’ attack. The Hokies average 25.4 free-throw attempts a game, 20th-best in D1, and they averaged 23 a game against Virginia in the two meetings in 2017.
  • Home-court advantage? Cassell Coliseum is a tough place to play when the students are on hand, but how many undergrads will be on campus on the Wednesday after New Year’s? It’s a fair question, and a big one, and no doubt Williams would have preferred to have this one on the schedule a little later in the season.
  • Long stretch of uninterrupted play. Virginia leads 18-8, 11:18/1st. Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams calls a timeout, maybe as much to get us a break than anything.

    UVA 7-of-11 from the field. Virginia Tech 4-of-12.

  • Virginia leads 21-14, 7:21/1st. Feels like the Hokies are poised to make a run. UVA has been letting Tech speed the pace up the past 2-3 minutes.

    Pace: 63 possessions.

  • So much for that Tech run that I felt. Ahem. Virginia leads 31-19, 3:20/1st, Tech timeout. Hokies shooting 6-of-19 from the floor (31.6 percent). Virginia is 12-of-24 (50 percent).

  • Half: Virginia 37, Virginia Tech 25. UVA led by as many as 15. Tech closed on a modest 5-2 run to narrow it to 12.
    ‘Hoos shot 48.4 percent (15-of-31) from the floor and were 5-of-14 from three.
    Tech was 34.8 percent from the floor (8-of-23) and 2-of-6 from three.
    UVA outrebounded Tech 17-15 and had a 16-8 advantage in points in the paint.

  • Virginia 41, Virginia Tech 28, 15:47/2nd. Foul trouble in the post is a big issue for UVA: Salt, Wilkins and Diakite all have three fouls. Curiously, Bennett is using DeAndre Hunter as the fourth post guy. May need to get Jay Huff up in the bullpen despite not wanting to.

  • Virginia leads 50-35, 11:55/2nd. Tony Bennett calls timeout. Pace getting away a bit, odd to say, but true. Tony wants to get it back under control.

  • Biggest lead of the game for Virginia: 57-35, 9:29 left. Tech timeout. Hokies shooting 33.3 percent from the floor for the game.