Virginia holds off Clemson rally, wins 51-44

mamadi diakite clemson

Mamadi Diakite had 13 points and eight rebounds. Photo by Dan Grogan.

Virginia led by 12 at halftime, but of course, it wasn’t going to be easy.

Clemson rallied to cut the margin to two in the final minutes, and the Cavaliers had to get stops and then close the game out at the foul line in a 51-44 win on Wednesday.

UVA (15-6, 7-4 ACC) scored 10 points in the first 15:10 of the second half, and Clemson (11-11, 5-7 ACC) got the margin down to two on an Aamir Simms three with 6:03 to go.

Photo Gallery: Virginia defeats Clemson. Photos by Dan Grogan.

A pair of threes from Braxton Key, who finished with 19 points, were crucial down the stretch. The first, with 4:50 to go, made it 39-34 Virginia.

The second, at the 1:28 mark, would be the backbreaker for the Tigers, who had again cut the margin to three, before the Key three pushed the margin to 45-39.

Nothing to brag about here, though. Virginia shot 37.0 percent for the game and was just 6-of-19 (31.6 percent) in the second half.

Key had his 19 on 6-of-13 shooting from the floor, connecting on 4-of-6 from three.

Mamadi Diakite had 13 points, and Jay Huff added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Kihei Clark scored just one, but had 10 assists in 37 minutes.

Simms led three Clemson scorers with 16 points.

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