Editor’s note: Article originally published on 11/07/2019.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - The 11th ranked UVa basketball team began its national championship defense by beating Syracuse 48-34 Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome.
UVa sophomore guard Kihei Clark almost had a triple double with 10 points, 7 assists and a career-high 11 rebounds.
Virginia held Syracuse to just 23.6 percent shooting. The 'Hoos jumped out to a 13-2 lead and never trailed.
The 34 points Syracuse scored were the fewest the Orange has scored in a game since 1945.
It was also the first time Syracuse couldn't score 40 points in a game since 2013 when the Orange managed just 39 against Georgetown.
The Cavaliers became the first defending NCAA champion to start the next season with a true road game since UCLA opened the 1967-68 season at Purdue.
The Cavaliers have a 12-game winning streak in ACC openers and are 11-0 in ACC openers under head coach Tony Bennett.
Virginia beat Syracuse despite shooting just 4-of-24 from three point range.
Mamadi Diakite had a team-high 12 points. Jay Huff added 11 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Braxton Key had 7 points. Virginia’s home opener is Sunday night against JMU.
University of Virginia Media Release: Virginia Game Notes
- UVA began its 115th season of men’s basketball with its seventh straight season-opening win
- UVA is 21-1 in its last 22 season-opening games
- Virginia is 10-1 in season openers under head coach Tony Bennett
- The Cavaliers have a 12-game winning streak in ACC openers and are 11-0 in ACC openers under Bennett
- UVA led 25-19 at halftime
- UVA used a 13-0 run to grab a 13-2 lead before Syracuse answered with an 8-0 run
- UVA held Syracuse to 25.9 percent field goal shooting in the first half
- UVA owned an 47-28 rebound advantage
- UVA held Syracuse to 34 points, marking its fewest points allowed to an ACC foe since holding Wake Forest to 34 on Feb. 25, 2015
- UVA is 24-0 when holding opponents under 40 points under Bennett
- Syracuse’s 34 points were an all-time low for the Orange in a game at the Carrier Dome and the lowest since a 49-28 loss to Sampson Navy on Jan. 13, 1945 (Sampson Navy was a team from a military base during the war years)
- UVA had three players with 10 or more rebounds (Jay Huff, Kihei Clark and Braxton Key) for the first time since Yuri Barnes (13), Jason Williford (12) and Junior Burrough (11) vs. Rice on Dec. 4, 1993.
- UVA is 8-5 all-time against Syracuse, including a 7-1 mark in ACC action, in the series that dates back to 1983-84
- Virginia owns a four-game winning streak in the series
- The Cavaliers are 4-2 against the Orange at the Carrier Dome
- UVA has held the Orange to 68 or fewer points in each of the last nine meetings between the teams
- Head coach Tony Bennett is 7-2 all-time against Syracuse.
- Double-figure scorers: Mamadi Diakite (12), Jay Huff (11), Kihei Clark (10)
- Kihei Clark tallied his first career double-double
- Clark had career highs in rebounds (11), assists (7) and minutes (37)
- The 5-foot-8 Clark’s 11 rebounds made him the first ACC player 5-foot-11 or shorter to have that many rebounds in a game since UVA's Donald Hand in 1999 (twice)
- Huff had a career-high 12 rebounds en route to his first career double-double
- UVA debuts: Tomas Woldetensae, Casey Morsell, Justin McKoy