Men’s basketball finishes non-conference slate with win over Hampton

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Virginia redshirt freshman forward De’Andre Hunter finished with 14 points against Hampton.

Callie Collins | Cavalier Daily

Another successful non-conference showing for Virginia men’s basketball Coach Tony Bennett drew to a close on Friday night when the No. 13 Cavaliers took on Hampton at home. Despite falling behind early, Virginia (11-1) gave a solid effort on both ends of the floor and cruised to an 82-48 victory.

While Friday’s matchup heavily favored Virginia on paper, Hampton (5-9) came out firing after the tip off, making tough shots and playing aggressive defense. The Cavaliers struggled to find their offensive footing early as the Pirates jumped out to a 14-9 lead.

The Cavaliers would claw back and knot the score at 17 with over nine minutes in the half, and a key play from Virginia senior forward Isaiah Wilkins seemed to turn the tide. Wilkins sprinted after a lose ball after a Hampton miss from the field and dove on top of the ball to gain possession before calling a timeout. The wild play got the crowd into the game, and sophomore guard Ty Jerome delivered a jolt with a three-ball on the next possession.

For the rest of the game, Virginia coasted as its offense began to click. Redshirt freshman forward De’Andre Hunter made a big impact by pushing the ball into the paint, drawing fouls and scoring some big buckets to seal the game. Hunter finished with 14 points on the day.

Sophomore guard Kyle Guy led Virginia with 15 points after heating up in the second half, while Jerome chipped in 10. The Cavaliers dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Pirates 46-32, thanks in part to nine rebounds from Wilkins.

Virginia once again looked strong in its non-conference slate, staying undefeated at home and losing only one game at West Virginia. The Cavaliers’ tough ACC schedule begins on Dec. 30 when they host Boston College at John Paul Jones Arena.

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