Virginia’s four-game winning streak ended unceremoniously Sunday with a 66-60 road loss to ACC bottom-dweller Georgia Tech. With the defeat, the Cavaliers (15-6, 5-3 ACC) have now tallied three conference losses against teams featuring losing records in ACC play.
Junior guard Joe Harris scored 18 points — 14 in the first half — to pace a Virginia squad that surrendered more than 60 points defensively for the first time in eight games. Senior guard Mfon Udofia’s 15 points and go-ahead jumper with 1:19 remaining propelled the Yellow Jackets (12-8, 2-6 ACC) to their first win in six tries against the Cavaliers.
After falling behind 20-17 with 7:01 remaining in the first half, Virginia engineered a 20-8 run and hit its last seven shots of the half to take a 37-28 lead into the break. Yet Georgia Tech quickly countered in the second half, exploiting the mismatch between Yellow Jacket freshman power forward Robert Carter and freshman small forward Evan Nolte to pull within three at the 17:16 mark.
Virginia managed to hold the Yellow Jackets at bay for a while, eventually reestablishing a 9-point edge with freshman guard Justin Anderson’s free throws with 8:12 remaining. From that point forward, however, Georgia Tech held the Cavaliers without a field goal until junior point guard Jontel Evans’ layup with 36 seconds remaining, all while overwhelming the usually staunch Virginia defense with a game-ending 18-3 run.
Junior forward Akil Mitchell notched his second consecutive double-double with 13 points and 12 assists. Only Anderson joined Harris and Mitchell in double-figures in scoring with 10 points.
Virginia plays next Thursday evening against Clemson in John Paul Jones Arena. The Tigers pummeled the Cavaliers 59-44 Jan. 12.