#3 UVA tops William & Mary in holiday matinee

UVA basketballWilliam & Mary didn’t go away easily, cutting a 17-point first-half deficit to six early in the second half, but third-ranked UVA would eventually take control.

A 17-2 run broke the game back open and sent Virginia (11-0) to a 72-40 win on Saturday.

But the Tribe (4-8), a 21.5-point underdog, was able to hang around for a little while, though it felt as much that it was because the Cavaliers were thinking about their upcoming nine-day holiday break than anything else.

UVA got out to a 27-10 lead after a De’Andre Hunter layup with 6:56 left, but W&M would close out the first half on a modest 13-6 run to cut the margin to 34-23 at the break.

The ‘Hoos were just 1-for-6 from the floor with four turnovers in that closing stretch.

William & Mary would then get the deficit down to six, at 34-28, on a Justin Pierce three-pointer with 18:52 left.

That was as interesting as it would get. Virginia limited the Tribe, which came in averaging 77.3 points per game, to one field goal over the next nine minutes, while stretching the lead to 51-30, on a Kyle Guy jumper with 9:59 to go, and that was, effectively, that.

Nathan Knight had a monster game for the Tribe before fouling out with 5:57 to go, scoring a game-high 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting in 32 minutes.

Hunter had 18 points to lead Virginia. Hunter had scored just 14 combined in wins over VCU and South Carolina, shooting 3-of-16 from the floor in those efforts.

On Saturday, Hunter was 4-of-8 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the free-throw line.

Guy had 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting. The 6’2” junior also had seven rebounds.

Ty Jerome had eight points and game-high nine rebounds.

The ‘Hoos are off until a New Year’s Eve contest at JPJ against Marshall.

Story by Chris Graham

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