No. 18 men’s basketball upset by Boston College 60-53

The Eagles snap their six-game losing streak against the Cavaliers

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Sophomore guard Kody Stattmann was one of the few bright spots for the Cavaliers, scoring a career-high 11 points. 

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

No. 18 men’s basketball was edged out by Boston College Tuesday night in its third true road game of the season in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The Cavaliers (11-3, 3-1 ACC) fell to the Eagles (9-6, 3-1 ACC) despite a strong 20-5 run in the second half. 

Virginia got things going early with a jumper by senior forward Mamadi Diakite before scoring zero points in the ensuing 5:21, enabling Boston College to secure an 8-2 lead. The Cavaliers’ offensive woes — after seemingly disappearing against rival Virginia Tech — returned to haunt Virginia as it sank just three field goals in the first 10 minutes. 

The Eagles, on the other hand, found a hot hand early in freshman guard Jay Heath, who hit two three-pointers to lead Boston College to an 18-8 advantage after 10 minutes of play. 

The Cavaliers then went on a quick 5-0 run in the ensuing 35 seconds, capped off by an and-one play by senior guard Braxton Key. Nevertheless, Virginia entered yet another dry spell, as the reigning national champions would not score until nearly two-and-a-half minutes later at the 6:57 mark courtesy of a layup by junior forward Jay Huff, making the score 21-15 in favor of the Eagles. 

Sophomore guard Kody Stattmann knocked down a jump shot, and sophomore guard Kihei Clark drained a three to cut Boston College’s lead to one. Despite their efforts, the Eagles continually responded to Virginia’s challenges, capping off the first-half on a 9-6 run and heading into the locker rooms up 30-26. 

Although the Cavaliers were able to cut into Boston College’s lead late, Virginia shot just 35 percent from the field in the first-half. The Cavaliers were also out-rebounded by the Eagles 19-13, while also allowing Boston College to score eight points off of turnovers. 

Virginia kicked off the second-half still ice-cold — sinking just one of its seven shots in the first 6:08 — as the Eagles went on a 12-4 run to go up 42-30. 

The Cavaliers once again made an effort to claw back from a double-digit deficit, scoring 10 straight points in the following 3:53, before Boston College senior guard Jared Hamilton hit a jumper to end the Eagles’ scoring drought. Nevertheless, a spinning layup by Stattmann inched Virginia closer once again — rekindling the excitement of a healthy visiting Cavalier fan contingent. 

With 7:09 to play and Virginia down 45-42, Clark sank his third three-pointer of the game to knot it at 45-45. Twenty seconds later, Diakite converted an and-one to give the Cavaliers a 48-45 lead — their first since Diakite’s jumper to kick off the game. 

Clark — an 87.5 percent free throw shooter coming into the match-up — sank two free throws to extend Virginia’s lead to 50-45, but just as the Cavaliers thought they had escaped the upset, the Eagles came storming back. 

Boston College embarked on a 15-3 run to complete the upset, as Heath and Hamilton combined for 13 points, converting some tough chances in the paint and leading the Eagles to their fifth victory in their last six games. 

Of note, Key seemed to have reinjured his left hand late in the second-half, although it has not been confirmed. He led Virginia in points and rebounds Tuesday night, with 16 and 8, respectively. 

Stattmann also had a strong night for the Cavaliers, scoring 11 points on 55 percent shooting from the field. Beyond Key and Stattmann, Virginia had just two other players score points, as the Cavaliers continue searching for answers to the offensive inefficiencies that have plagued them. 

Virginia returns to Charlottesville Saturday afternoon to host Syracuse. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN. 

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