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No. 3 men’s basketball cruises past Wake Forest, 68-45

Five players score in double figures to beat the Demon Deacons

<p>Redshirt sophomore forward Jay Huff finished with 12 points, tied for a team-high.</p>

Redshirt sophomore forward Jay Huff finished with 12 points, tied for a team-high.

After suffering its first loss of the season over the weekend, the No. 3 Virginia men’s basketball team rebounded with a 68-45 win against Wake Forest Tuesday night. The Cavaliers (17-1, 5-1 ACC) had five players reach double figures in a game in which they never trailed to the Demon Deacons (8-10, 1-5 ACC). 

The Cavaliers took control of the game from the start, with junior forward Mamadi Diakite scoring the game’s first seven points. Five more points from redshirt sophomore guard De’Andre Hunter gave the Cavaliers a 12-0 run. It wasn’t until 3:54 into the game that Wake Forest scored its first bucket. Virginia’s lead continued to grow, as they led by as many as 23 points in the first half with the score at 32-9. 

“We usually do a really good job of just playing play-by-play, and I think we just really wanted to make a point and let everyone know that we were completely past last game,” junior guard Kyle Guy said. 

Led behind 10 points from redshirt sophomore forward Jay Huff and nine points from Hunter, the Cavaliers remained comfortably ahead for the entire half. 

“[Jay Huff] is continuing to improve, he shows some great flashes offensively,” Coach Tony Bennett said. “He can stretch you from three, but he can put it on the floor. When he’s on the floor, we do a couple different things offensively. But he’s been doing a good job, and he’s been practicing hard .… He’s progressing in the right direction and playing hard and that was good to see some of the things he did.” 

While the Cavaliers never trailed, the Demon Deacons found some success later in the half to close in on Virginia’s lead, scoring 14 points in the last five minutes. Shooting 35.7 percent from behind the arc after hitting five threes in the half, Wake Forest got within 13 points of Virginia at halftime. 

Virginia continued to hold on to its lead in the second half, never appearing to be threatened by the Demon Deacons. Guy and Huff finished as the leading scorers for the Cavaliers after they each put up 12 points, with Guy’s points bringing him to the career 1,000-point landmark. Hunter and Diakite each had 11 points, while junior guard Ty Jerome finished with 10 points and five assists. 

“I’m really honored to have reached that accomplishment,” Guy said about scoring his 1,000th point. “It’s something that I did set a goal for myself coming into college. It’s guys … like [Jack Salt] that really are selfless and try to give me looks, so I’m really grateful for them.” 

As a team, Virginia shot 38.6 percent on field goals and 33.3 percent from three, while committing seven turnovers on the night.

Meanwhile, Wake Forest finished shooting 30.9 percent overall, 25 percent from behind the arc, and committed 11 turnovers. They were led in scoring by junior guard Brandon Childress and sophomore center Olivier Sarr. 

The Cavaliers will now prepare to hit the road to take on Notre Dame Saturday with a tip-off time of 1 p.m.