Virginia defeats Georgia Tech, 63-58, snaps losing skid

uva basketballVirginia led by as many as 14, saw Georgia Tech get as close as two, but then held on, winning 63-58 Saturday night in Atlanta.

Big nights for Jay Huff and Mamadi Diakite, who both scored 17, Huff more efficiently – on 7-of-10 shooting, along with eight rebounds.

Diakite was 6-of-14 from the floor, with six rebounds, on a night that saw the Cavaliers (12-5, 4-3 ACC) shoot 47.2 percent (25-of-53), which felt juggernautish, considering how the season has gone to this point.

Tomas Woldetensae helped open things up from deep, connecting on 3-of-7 from long-range, as UVA connected on a modestly OK 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) from three.

Virginia led 33-25 at the half, and pushed the lead to 43-29 on a Diakite dunk with 14:47 to go.

Georgia Tech (8-10, 3-5 ACC) went on a 17-5 run over the next 6:32, concluding with a Jose Alvarado three with 8:15 to go, that the 6’0” point guard punctuated with a chintzy air-guitar riff ahead of a Tony Bennett timeout, and a 48-46 UVA lead.

A Huff three and Diakite dunk gave the ‘Hoos some breathing room, and it only got slightly tight really late, on a three by Alvarado with 36 seconds left that made it 59-55 Virginia.

UVA eventually closed it out at the line with two Diakite free throws, but the Cavaliers were only 8-of-16 at the charity stripe on the night.

Braxton Key had 10 points, six rebounds and six assists for Virginia. Woldetensae added nine points in 31 minutes, and Kihei Clark added seven points, with seven assists, against two turnovers, in a full 40 minutes of floor time.

Alvarado had 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting to lead Georgia Tech.

Some Inside the Numbers-type stuff here: Virginia was 14-of-21 on shots at the rim, 5-of-16 from three and 6-of-16 on two-point jumpers.

Georgia Tech was 14-of-24 at the rim, 5-of-14 from three and 6-of-12 on two-point jumpers.

Georgia Tech had 18 turnovers, Virginia 12, but the Yellow Jackets had a 19-14 edge in points off turnovers.

Points in the paint: even, 32 apiece.

Fast-break points: oddly, UVA 8-2.

Virginia blocked nine shots, six by Huff. Tech blocked one.

The Jackets had a modest 31-30 edge on the boards.

Not a lot going on: Kody Stattmann had three points, on 1-of-3 shooting from three, in 19 minutes.

Casey Morsell got just four minutes of floor time.

Story by Chris Graham

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