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No. 4 Virginia men's basketball picks up 63-43 road win against Clemson

Three Cavaliers hit double figures to get 20-point win over the Tigers

<p>Sophomore forward Jay Huff provided a spark off the bench in Virginia's Saturday afternoon victory over Clemson.</p>

Sophomore forward Jay Huff provided a spark off the bench in Virginia's Saturday afternoon victory over Clemson.

Coming off of a solid road win against Boston College, the No. 4 Virginia men’s basketball team picked up its 15th-straight victory as it defeated Clemson, 63-43. The Cavaliers (15-0, 3-0 ACC) never trailed the Tigers (10-6, 0-3 ACC) in each team’s third ACC game of the season. 

In the early minutes of the game, it looked as if Virginia was in for an easy afternoon. It took the Tigers over five minutes to get on the scoreboard, and midway through the half, those two points were still all Clemson had. 

In addition to stifling defense, the Cavaliers early lead was largely due to offensive success from junior guard Kyle Guy. Guy had 13 first-half points, which included three 3-pointers. Junior guard Braxton Key added five points, while senior center Jack Salt had four for the Cavaliers. As a team, Virginia shot 38.5 percent on both field goals and shots from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes of play.  

However, six turnovers by the Cavaliers and a late surge by Clemson in the half kept Virginia from getting too comfortable. While the Tigers shot 16.7 percent from three and 23.8 overall in the half, 10 points from the free throw line helped them stay in the game. In the last five minutes of the half, Virginia went from leading by double figures to heading into the locker room up 27-21. 

Clemson started the second half by continuing to close in on Virginia’s lead. The Tigers got within two points in the first few minutes of the half, but from there, Virginia started to pull away again. Sophomore guard De’Andre Hunter, sophomore forward Jay Huff and junior guard Ty Jerome all came alive offensively for the Cavaliers in the second half, scoring 10, 11 and 8 second-half points, respectively. Guy finished as Virginia’s leading scorer with 13, followed by Hunter with 12. 

Virginia ended the day with 40.4 percent shooting, 43.5 percent three-point shooting and eight turnovers to get the 63-43 win. 

Meanwhile, the Tigers — who struggled against Virginia’s offense all day — finished shooting 25.9 overall and 15.8 from three, after going 3-for-19 from behind the arc. 

Virginia now heads into a difficult stretch of their schedule, with two top-ten matchups on the horizon. First up, is a home contest against in state rival No. 9 Virginia Tech on Jan. 15. Then, the Cavaliers will head to Durham, N.C. to take on No. 1 Duke on Jan. 19.