The Virginia men’s basketball team survived a major scare against in-state and conference rival Virginia Tech Sunday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg. Trailing 43-33 with less than 11 minutes to play, the No. 2 Cavaliers reeled off a game-ending 17-4 run to deal the Hokies their seventh straight defeat by a final score of 50-47.
Virginia (19-0, 7-0 ACC) — which shot an uncharacteristically poor 34.7 percent from the field — threatened to pull away early, seizing a 9-2 lead with 17:07 left in the first half and a 24-13 advantage just more than 10 minutes later.
But Virginia Tech (8-11, 0-6 ACC) refused to go quietly, cutting the Cavalier edge to a point at 24-23 on seven-foot freshman forward Satchel Pierce’s jump shot with 5:19 to play in the half. Virginia entered halftime up just 30-27.
After junior guard Malcolm Brogdon knocked down a 3-pointer for the Cavaliers 24 seconds after the break, the Hokies went to work, scoring the next 14 points for the 43-33 lead with 10:41 remaining. To that point, Virginia had made just one shot in the second half.
Sophomore point guard London Perrantes broke the spell, nailing a 3-pointer 17 seconds later for his first field goal since a layup less than two minutes after tip-off. The teams then traded stops for more than three minutes until junior guard Justin Anderson put in two of his team-high 12 points at the foul line.
A close-range make by senior forward Christian Beyer pushed the Virginia Tech lead back to seven with 6:49 on the clock. But just more than a minute later, Anderson struck again, bringing Virginia within four at 45-41 when Perrantes found him for a 3-pointer.
After senior forward Darion Atkins hit two free throws to cut the deficit to two with 4:01 to go, Anderson tied the game with a slam dunk. He then sank a second 3-pointer for a 48-45 lead with 2:44 remaining, the first time the Cavaliers held the lead in more than 14 minutes.
Virginia Tech freshman guard Ahmed Hill answered junior forward Anthony Gill’s jump shot with one of his own to make it 50-47 with 1:06 on the clock, but Hill and redshirt freshman guard Malik Müller missed potential game-tying 3-pointers in the final 13 seconds.
Virginia plays No. 5 Duke Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.