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Scott German: Virginia survives hot shooting night from Georgia Tech

reece beekman uva gt
Reece Beekman drives to the hoop in the first half of Virginia’s win over Georgia Tech. Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

Wednesday night, Georgia Tech emerged from a 17-day layoff to maul No. 20 Clemson with an almost historic effort from behind the arc as the Yellow Jackets dropped 16-of-27 three-point attempts in an 83-65 win.

Tonight in John Paul Jones Arena the GT kept that torrid three-point shooting accuracy alive, connecting on 9-of-15 from three-point land, but it was not enough as Virginia used a 15-2 second-half run to slip past the Yellow jackets 64-62.

Sam Hauser and Jay Huff paced Virginia with 22 and 18 points. respectively, but it was point guard Kihei Clark, who otherwise had a very forgettable night, knocking down the winning basket, his only score of the game, to give the Cavaliers the win.

Clark’s short jumper with 1:09 left broke a 62-all tie.

Huff, who is emerging as a strong candidate for first team All-ACC performer, had five blocks for Virginia, none more critical than a block in the paint on a Moses Wright shot with 40 seconds left, with the Cavaliers clinging to a 64-62 lead.

Clark missed his first eight shot attempts before knocking down what turned out to be the game-winning basket.

Georgia Tech came to Charlottesville riding a five-game winning streak after annihilating the Tigers Wednesday evening.

The Jackets picked up right where they left off against Clemson with two 12-2 runs in the opening half of play. Virginia was also its worst enemy in the opening 20 minutes by committing six turnovers.

Playing exceptional for most of the game, Georgia Tech gave Virginia all they wanted – and more . The Jackets had the ball in their hands with the opportunity for the win, but guard Michael Devoe’s three-point shot at the horn was no good.

The Cavaliers, playing for the first time in a week due to Wednesday night’s postponement because of COVID-19 issues at N.C. State, were inconsistent throughout the game.

It was a game of spurts for both teams, actually, trading scoring spurts throughout.

It was a 9-0 run in the second half that seemingly gave Virginia command of the game. Trailing 56-51 with 6:54 remaining, the 9-0 spurt put the Cavaliers ahead 60-56.

GT was able to hit the refresh button back-to-back threes that eventually tied the game at 62.

It was the ensuing possession that Clark scored the winning basket.

GT has now lost their last seven games to Virginia, most of which were simply not competitive – not so tonight. The Yellow Jackets consistently had open looks and dunks against UVA’s Pack-Line defense. For the night Georgia Tech finished connecting on 45 percent from the floor and turned the ball over just six times.

Virginia, now 6-0 in ACC play will (fingers-crossed) host Syracuse Monday night.

Story by Scott German


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