UVA opens national title defense with 48-34 win at Syracuse

uva basketballYou expected UVA to have trouble shooting against the 2-3 zone at Syracuse in the season opener Wednesday night.

You also expected all the newbies to have trouble getting acclimated to playing the Pack Line.

The shooting was as expected. The defense was what you’ve come to expect from Tony Bennett’s best Virginia teams.

The ‘Hoos held the Orange to 23.6 percent shooting in a 48-34 win in the Carrier Dome, a rare ACC road opener.

Virginia had its own troubles shooting from three, connecting on just 4-of-24 from behind the arc, but the Cavaliers were 13-of-18 on shots in the paint, including 9-of-10 at the rim, dominating the post with senior Mamadi Diakite (12 points, 6-of-10 FG, 6 rebounds) and Jay Huff (11 points, 5-of-7 FG, 12 rebounds) asserting their respective wills.

Syracuse trailed 13-2 11 minutes in, but closed to within 25-19 at the half.

A Buddy Boeheim jumper with 17:20 to go was the last time the margin would be at six, as Syracuse scored 15 points after the intermission, never really getting going on a night when the Orange made just 5-of-29 from three-point range and was outrebounded 47-28.

One issue for the ‘Hoos: 16 turnovers.

Kihei Clark, the 5’9” sophomore guard, had 10 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for Virginia, which opens its home schedule on Sunday against JMU.

Story by Chris Graham



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