CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Gonzaga senior Corey Kispert hit nine 3-pointers, and scored 32 points, and the top-ranked Bulldogs defeated #16 Virginia 98-75 on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.
Zags sophomore Drew Timme chipped in 29 points, and grabbed 8 rebounds.
Gonzaga led wire-to-wire in the match-up of ranked teams, as the Bulldogs opened the game on a 7-0 run, and never looked back.
UVA trailed by as many as 20 points in the 1st half, but a late run cut the deficit to 44-31 at halftime.
Gonzaga continued to push the pace in the 2nd half, and they led by as many as 33 points.
The Zags had an assist on 26 of their 35 baskets, and they shot 60.3 percent from the field, which is the best shooting percentage by a team against the Cavaliers under head coach Tony Bennett.
The 98 points are the second-most allowed by UVA under Bennett (Washington 106 in 2010-11).
Virginia hit 26-of-54 shots (48.1 percent), and made 10-of-25 three-pointers, but they also turned the ball over 15 times, which led to 27 points for Gonzaga.
Bennett says, “They’re the best we’ve played by far, and appear to be well deserving of that ranking. But if you don’t take care of the ball, it’s hard enough to stop them when your defense is back and set, they’ve got too many actions and skilled guys and we were fractured in that way, but when you give them points off turnovers, I think it was 19 in the first half, if I’m right, that puts you in a big hole. They really exposed some things that we have to go to work on, and just try to, to sure up.”
Kihei Clark says, “I think we had the right mindset, in trying to come back. But yeah, I definitely think that a couple of us were scared. I don’t know if it was because we were playing Gonzaga, or the moment, but you could kind of feel it a little bit.”
Clark led the ‘Hoos with 19 points, while Trey Murphy had 15, and Sam Hauser had 10.
UVA is 1-31 all-time against top-ranked teams, with the only victory coming against #1 North Carolina in 1986.
Virginia (4-2) will be back in action against Notre Dame in its ACC opener on Wednesday in South Bend, Indiana.