The No. 5 Virginia men’s basketball team picked up a road win against SEC opponent, South Carolina, Wednesday night to remain unbeaten. The Cavaliers (10-0) never trailed in the 69-52 win over the Gamecocks (4-6).
Virginia started junior guards Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy, sophomore guard De’Andre Hunter, senior center Jack Salt and junior forward Mamadi Diakite.
While the Cavaliers jumped to the early lead, the offense didn’t come easily for them. It took Virginia until 8:26 to play in the half to hit their first three pointer of the game, as Jerome buried a shot from behind the arc. Though Virginia led by as many as 10 points, the Gamecocks cut the lead to one with 3:23 to go in the half. Three-pointers from Guy and Jerome in the last two minutes of the half helped the Cavaliers head into the locker room with a seven-point league.
Jerome led the Cavaliers with 16 points off of 5-for-10 shooting and four free-throws in the first 20 minutes of play. Guy and Diakite each added six points to the scoreboard, while freshman guard Kihei Clark — who played after a recent wrist surgery — added two points. Virginia finished the half with four turnovers, 39 percent field goal shooting and 33 percent three-point shooting.
Meanwhile, South Carolina shot 33.5 percent and just 15.4 percent from three in the first half, on 2-for-13 shooting from behind the arc. They also had six turnovers.
The Cavaliers continued to open up their lead in the second half, getting to a 17-point lead seven minutes into the half. Virginia would remain in control for the rest of the game, as the closest the Gamecocks got to Virginia’s lead was 10-points.
Jerome finished out as the leading scorer for Virginia with 25 points. Guy and Diakite also scored in double figures with 18 and 10 points, respectively. Guy had five three-pointers, shooting over 45 percent from behind the arc. Hunter, normally a staple in Virginia’s offense, had a quiet night with only five points.
As a team, the Cavaliers shot 44.1 percent on field goal attempts and 33.3 percent from three. Virginia had just one turnover in the second half to finish the night with five turnovers.
Defensively, the Cavaliers forced the Gamecocks to 12 turnovers, 36.4 percent shooting overall and 17 percent three-point shooting.
The Cavaliers are back in action Saturday afternoon, when they host in-state opponent William and Mary at 2 p.m.