The Virginia men’s basketball team sailed by Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, building a 9-point lead by halftime en route to a workmanlike 74-58 victory.
With the win, the Cavaliers (13-5, 3-2 ACC) notched their biggest margin of victory against the Hokies (11-7, 2-3 ACC) since 2000 and dispelled the notion they couldn’t beat a conference opponent on the road, having lost previously to Clemson and Wake Forest in their first two attempts.
Freshman forward Evan Nolte led Virginia’s offensive efforts. Nolte poured in a career-best 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting. The sharpshooter was even more efficient from three, knocking down 5-of-9 attempts beyond the arc. Junior guard Joe Harris had his stroke going as well, with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-6 on 3-pointers. Coach Tony Bennett rode his hot-handed marksmen, playing Nolte and Harris 34 and 35 minutes, respectively.
At the defensive end, the Cavaliers held Virginia Tech to only one double-digit scorer. But senior Hokie guard Erick Green single-handedly matched Nolte and Harris’ combined output with 35 points, the most Virginia has allowed any opposing scorer under Bennett. The Cavaliers were unable to clamp down on Green. They fouled him repeatedly and sent him to the line 13 times, where Green sank 10 free throws.
The Cavaliers seek to carry the road momentum back home, where they take on Boston College Saturday.