#1 Cavaliers Beat Clemson 64-58; Advance to ACC Championship Game

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Isaiah Wilkins talks to Ty Jerome Isaiah Wilkins talks to Ty Jerome
Sophomore Kyle Guy led UVa with 15 points Sophomore Kyle Guy led UVa with 15 points
Jack Salt scored 8 points and grabbed 8 rebounds for the 'Hoos Jack Salt scored 8 points and grabbed 8 rebounds for the 'Hoos

The top-ranked Virginia men's basketball team beat Clemson 64-58 in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament on Friday night in Brooklyn, New York.

The victory advances the Cavaliers to the championship game of the conference tournament for the ninth time in program history and third time in the last five years.

UVa won the title in 1976 and 2014.

The Wahoos will face #12 North Carolina in the finals on Saturday at 8:30 PM on NBC 29, after the 6-seed Tar Heels beat 2-seed Duke 74-69.

Kyle Guy had a team-high 15 points in Virginia's win against Clemson.

Junior center Jack Salt had eight points and eight rebounds, and all of his scoring came in the 2nd half.

Salt says, "Just a credit to the coaches, and all their hard work of not giving up on me.  I got opportunities, and I just converted on them.  I was open, and I was finishing under the basket, and it just felt good."

Ty Jerome adds, "They weren't all just easy lay-up's.  That's a testament to his work ethic.  He works every day, before and after practice, on his touch around the basket and free throws.  He's such a hard worker.  To see it pay off, I'm so happy for him, and it was huge for us, too."

Jerome had six points, 10 assists, and three steals for the 'Hoos.

Devon Hall and Mamadi Diakite each added 10 points.

Virginia led by as many as 14 points in the second half, but the lead was cut to just five with about seven minutes left.   

"They were the aggressors," says head coach Tony Bennett.  "We were a little on our heels.  Not for a lack of effort.  But then I thought the guys really buckled down.  I thought Jack gave us some good stops.  Ty, and our team defense picked up.  They weren't going to make every shot, so we bothered some shots, and then some of our shots started falling."

Hall says, "It's a game of runs, man.  We're going to sit down, we're going to guard you, we're going to grind you on the offensive end, and take what shots we have."

"We're always poised," adds freshman De'Andre Hunter.  "We never try to let the lead bother us.  When the other team goes on runs, we try not to let that bother us.  We just stay poised, and play our game."

Guy adds, "We don't worry too much about how the other teams play.  We just worry about how we do.  Before every game, we say, 'Put our backpack on, and rebound.'  That means get back, so they can't get in position, be in our Pack Line, and then rebound."

UVa out-rebounded Clemson 37-32, the the Cavaliers' defense held the Tigers to 34.7% shooting from the field (17-of-49).

The victory gives Virginia (30-2) thirty wins for the fourth time in school history, and for the third time under head coach Tony Bennett (2014, 2015).

Terry Holland guided the 'Hoos for a 30-4 mark in the 1981-82 season.

University of Virginia Athletics Media Release

Team Notes

• Virginia improved to 30-2 and secured its fourth 30-win season in school history (1982, 2014, 2015, 2018)

• The Cavaliers advanced to the ACC Tournament final for the ninth time (3rd time under Tony Bennett) and seek their third ACC Tournament title on Saturday

• UVA has an eight-game winning streak vs. the Tigers

• UVA has a seven-game winning streak overall

• UVA is 27-3 all-time in the 16 weeks as the top-ranked team

• The Cavaliers improved to 7-1 all-time at Barclays Center (4-0 this season)

• UVA improved to 40-62 all-time at the ACC Tournament

• Virginia limited its 31st opponent to less than 50 percent shooting (Clemson – 34.7%)

• UVA held its 24th opponent to 60 or fewer points

• UVA led 32-23 at the half and improved to 27-0 when leading at halftime

• UVA went on a 16-0 run and held Clemson scoreless for 8:25 during the first half

• UVA held Clemson without a field goal for the 9:54 spanning halftime, marking a season high (9:28 vs. Monmouth)

• UVA went on a 10-0 run in the second half

• UVA out-rebounded Clemson 37-32 to improve to 19-0 when out-rebounding its opponent

• UVA owned a 21-5 advantage in bench scoring

Player Notes

• Kyle Guy (15 points) led UVA in scoring for the 13th time, reaching double figures for the 26th time

• Guy’s 81 3-pointers are tied for seventh on the UVA single-season list with Roger Mason, Jr.

• Guy’s 81 3-pointers are the most at UVA since Mason, Jr.’s 81 in 2001-02

• Ty Jerome tallied a career-high 10 assists

• Mamadi Diakite had 10 points and has scored nine or more points in five of the last six games

• Devon Hall (10 points) reached double figures for the 22nd time

• Hall matched a season high with three steals

• Isaiah Wilkins had five rebounds to move into 17th on UVA’s all-time rebounding list with 623