UVa. routs Virginia Tech, 73-55
The win improves the Cavs to 18-6 overall and 8-3 in the ACC as they enter a critical stretch in the next week that takes them on the road at North Carolina on Saturday and at #3 Miami next Tuesday.
“We need to do the same thing we’ve been doing. We need to take that intensity on the road. We struggle on the road, so we need to make sure we keep moving the ball and set our defense,” said junior forward Akil Mitchell, who had 17 points and eight rebounds Tuesday.
Joe Harris led all scorers with 26 points, and made his first five attempts from three-point range in a 17-point first half that pushed Virginia to a 35-23 lead at the break.
The UVa. defense keyed on Virginia Tech’s Erick Green, who had just one point at the half and despite finishing with 22 on the game was just 4-of-17 from the field on the night.
“It was pretty solid team defense on him, and Jontel (Evans) was very strong and quick,” UVa. coach Tony Bennett said. “Green got a couple open looks that he didn’t hit, but there weren’t a lot of them. You could see in the second half how he decided, Alright, I’m going to try to draw fouls and get to the lane and score that way.
“He got a couple rhythm looks. But Jontel was locked in and really worked against him, and that’s what you have to do. The other guys were certainly aware of him.”
An 11-point flurry from Green over a 1:48 span of the second half pulled Tech briefly to within 47-36 at the 14:47 mark. A 14-6 Virginia run capped by a Jontel Evans runner in the lane ended with the ‘Hoos up 61-42 at the 7:43 mark and for all intents and purposes ended all doubt.
It was the third straight game for Virginia – all wins – surpassing the 70-point mark on offense. The Cavs shot 44 percent from the field and hit nine of their 19 three-point attempts (47.4 percent) while holding Tech to 34.6 percent shooting and an 8-for-25 night (32 percent) behind the arc.
“Virginia played an excellent game tonight. We didn’t play well at all, but they had a lot to do with that. Gotta give them a lot of credit for what they did to us tonight. They are a very good basketball team – great on defense, good on offense. Their offense is very, very good right now,” Tech coach James Johnson said.