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No. 14 Virginia escapes Blacksburg with 57-53 win

Late second half run helps Cavaliers avoid disappointing loss, Brogdon scores 12

With less than four minutes to go in the Tuesday night road game against Virginia Tech, the No. 14 Virginia men’s basketball team trailed 46-42 and was staring down an embarrassing defeat to its hated rival.

Thirty seconds later, sophomore guard Justin Anderson hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one point, and senior guard Joe Harris would follow with a three of his own, putting the Cavaliers ahead for good and spurring the team to a 57-53 win in Blacksburg.

Virginia (22-5, 13-1 ACC) started out strong, taking an early 8-2 lead, but the Hokies would dominate the first half, hitting four 3-pointers to jump out ahead. Virginia Tech (9-16, 2-11 ACC) took a 17-14 lead midway through the first half and kept the lead, going into the break up 28-21. The Cavaliers only narrowly missed falling behind by a larger margin as sophomore guard Malcolm Brogdon hit a 3-pointer as time expired.

The second half started out much the same way, as Virginia Tech built a 40-29 lead five minutes into the half. Virginia shot 39 percent from the field in the game and struggled to fight back for much of the half.

A 5-0 run midway through the half would narrow the lead to 43-41, but the Hokies held the lead going into the game’s last five minutes. It was not until Harris’ three at 2:40 that Virginia show signs of life, taking a 48-46 lead.

Anderson followed it up with another 3-pointer and a free throw to complete a 10-0 run and make it 52-46. The teams traded free throws as Virginia sealed the 57-53 win.

Virginia moves to 13-1 with the win, and clinches at worst the No. 4 seed and a double bye in the ACC tournament. The team will look to extend its 10-game win streak when they host Notre Dame Saturday.