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No. 10 Virginia sends Virginia Tech to sixth straight loss

Jan 18, 2023; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies guard Sean Pedulla (3) drives to the basket as Virginia Cavaliers guard Kihei Clark (0) defends in the first half at John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Kihei Clark scored 20 points and dealt five assists, helping propel No. 10 Virginia to a 78-68 victory over Virginia Tech on Wednesday in Charlottesville, Va.

Jayden Gardner snapped out of a slump to score 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting while Armaan Franklin contributed 15 points, making 6 of 9 shots as Virginia (14-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its fourth straight.

It was the sixth straight loss for Virginia Tech (11-7, 1-6), which was paced by 13 points from Darius Maddox and 12 from Grant Basile. All five Hokies starters hit double figures in scoring.

Coming off an elbow injury, Hunter Cattoor made his return for the Hokies after missing four games. Cattoor had 11 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Virginia led by two points with 12:18 to go. From that point, though, the Cavaliers dominated with an efficient offense that produced 50.9 percent shooting from the floor overall and committed just five turnovers.

Clark was the catalyst, scoring 12 of his points in the final 11 minutes. His step-back 3-pointer gave Virginia a 62-55 lead with 7:37 left. He added another trey with 4:29 to go that put the Cavaliers up 71-60.

Isaac McKneely also hit a 3-pointer while Reece Beekman (11 points, seven assists) and Gardner added three-point plays down the stretch that kept Virginia in charge.

The Cavaliers started fast, rolling to an 11-2 lead. Virginia Tech was scoreless from the floor until MJ Collins drilled a 3-pointer 4:37 into the game.

With the Hokies making 8 of 9 shots from the floor, they overtook the Cavaliers 21-19 as Maddox closed an 11-0 run with a 3-pointer and a jumper.

But Virginia regained the edge, scoring nine of the final 11 points of the half. The run was started and finished by Beekman, who made a 3-pointer and then bolted for a sensational driving slam that gave the Cavaliers a 40-31 lead at the break.

Virginia Tech’s Justyn Mutts scored all 10 of his points in the second half to go along with his six rebounds and seven assists. The Hokies shot 49.1 percent from the floor.

–Field Level Media