#18 Virginia sleepwalks through road loss at Boston College

uva basketballVirginia scored three points in the final 5:25 to allow a bad Boston College team without its best two players to rally to win, 60-53, and, oh, by the way, may have lost Braxton Key again.

How’s that for a road trip that should have been utterly uneventful?

UVA (11-3, 3-1 ACC), coming off a 26-point beatdown of Virginia Tech on Saturday, couldn’t get out of its own way on Tuesday in Chestnut Hill, against a BC team playing without leading scorer Derryck Thornton and 6’11” senior Nik Popovic.

It shouldn’t have mattered if Thornton and Popovic were in the rotation. The Eagles (9-6, 3-1 ACC), at full strength, had lost by 15 at home to Belmont, by 20 on the road at Richmond, in a game in which they scored 44.

They led most of the way in this one, until a big Virginia run – a 20-3 spurt, over an 8:27 stretch of the second half – had the Cavaliers up 50-45 with 5:25 to go, on a pair of Kihei Clark free throws.

Felt like the Cavalanche there, right?


UVA missed nine of its last 10 shots. Clark, 2-of-11 from the floor on the game, missed four down the stretch.

Key, for his part, was just 1-of-5 from the floor in the second half, the make being a layup with 1:38 to go that tied the game at 53.

Key, the game still tied, then missed on a drive to the hoop with 55 seconds to go, and Jared Hamilton, who finished with 16, connected from the wing on the left side with 38 seconds left to put BC up for good.

Mamadi Diakite, who had nine points in 24 somnolent minutes, beset by early foul trouble, and a general malaise that seems to have taken over his basketball self of late, missed a wild three after a Tony Bennett timeout, on what you have to guess was a set play, to get an off-balance three for your five, which says a lot about this team.

The Eagles closed the game out at the foul line.

There was no reason for this Virginia team, limited though it may be, to lose to this Boston College team, which, credit to them, for playing well without their guys.

Key had 16 points in 39 minutes. He landed hard on his left wrist in a futile scramble late. The left wrist is the one that he’d had surgery on a few weeks ago. That can’t be good.

Clark had 12 points, doing most of his damage at the line, where he was 6-for-6.

Kody Stattmann had a nice outing, scoring 11 on 5-of-9 shooting in 39 minutes.

Jay Huff continued his slide toward irrelevance, scoring five on 2-of-6 shooting, with two rebounds, in 18 minutes off the bench, before fouling out.

The night was one that makes you appreciate the banner that is hanging in JPJ from last season’s exploits, and also reminds you that baseball season isn’t that far off.

Story by Chris Graham

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