No. 5 men’s basketball cruises to victory over William and Mary, 72-40

Hunter leads the Cavaliers in scoring with 18 points

kyle-guy

Junior guard Kyle Guy had 16 points against William & Mary Sunday afternoon.

Christina Anton | Cavalier Daily

The No. 5 Virginia men’s basketball team beat William and Mary 72-40 Saturday afternoon at John Paul Jones arena behind the scoring of sophomore forward De’Andre Hunter and junior guard Kyle Guy. Hunter finished with 18 points, shooting 9-10 from the free throw line, and Guy had 16 points, 11 of which came in the second half.

The Cavaliers (11-0) used a balanced offensive effort to overwhelm the Tribe (4-8), with 10 Virginia players scoring on the day. Defense was also critical for the Cavaliers, holding their opponent under 50 points for the sixth time this season.

Virginia had a solid first half and spread their offensive attack nicely, with seven players scoring. Junior guard Ty Jerome led the Cavaliers in scoring at the half with seven points.

William and Mary scored first. Junior forward Nathan Knight, the Tribe’s leading scorer, connected on a difficult hook shot. Virginia senior center Jack Salt answered with a hook shot of his own to tie the game up.

The next few minutes went back-and-forth until Virginia went on an 8-0 run to make it 13-6, forcing William and Mary to call a timeout. The run included an impressive fadeaway jumper by Jerome.

The Tribe responded with a basket out of the break, but an athletic putback by Salt made it 15-8 after a desperate three-point attempt from Guy, the start of 12-0 Cavalier run.

To cap off the run, sophomore center Jay Huff made a three-pointer on his first possession in the game to make it 25-8 Virginia.

William and Mary struggled to get any offense going, shooting the ball just 10 percent from three-point range in the first half.

Knight continued to keep the Tribe in game, scoring William and Mary’s next nine points to make it 31-17. Knight finished with 12 points and two blocks in the first half, accounting for over half of William and Mary’s first half points.

Virginia turnovers proved to be critical in this stretch, giving the Tribe a chance to claw back. William and Mary ended the half on a 9-3 scoring run, going into the half down 34-23.

William and Mary came out hot at the start of the half, cutting the deficit to six, but Virginia responded with a 17-2 run.

Guy was a crucial part of the run, scoring nine of his 16 points to make it 51-30 Virginia. Guy’s 16 points mark his fifth consecutive game scoring in double figures. Guy also showed great hustle throughout the game, tying his career-high in rebounds with seven.

Just like his backcourt mate, Jerome hit the glass against William and Mary, picking up a career-high ten rebounds.

Knight cut into the Cavaliers’ lead to make it 55-36 Virginia. Knight led all scorers with 22 points on 9-17 shooting. The rest of William and Mary scored 18 points on 7-32 shooting, and when Knight fouled out with 5:53 to go, the Tribe lost the only thing going for them on offense.

Hunter began to get his rhythm going offensively in the second half by getting to the free throw line, going three consecutive possessions with two made free throws.

His 18 points mark a return to double-digit scoring after going two straight games without scoring in double figures.

Virginia got a boost when redshirt freshman Francesco Badocchi forward checked in for the first time in his playing career. Badocchi provided good defense and rebounding in the final minutes and helped the Cavaliers see out a 72-40 victory.

It was another dominant non-conference win at John Paul Jones Arena for undefeated Virginia.

The Cavaliers are lined up for one more test at home Dec. 31 against Marshall before they start ACC play against Florida State Jan. 5 at home.

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