CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The No. 22 Virginia men’s basketball team survived a nearly 9-minute scoring drought in the first half, and rallied to beat Boston College 61-49 on Saturday in Chestnut Hill, MA.
The Cavaliers led 18-11 at the 12:19 mark of the 1st half, and did not score another point until Trey Murphy III hit a three-pointer with 3:35 remaining in the half.
Boston College outscored UVA 14-0 during that span, but the Wahoos finished the half on an 11-1 run, and led 29-26 at halftime.
Head coach Tony Bennett says, “We tried to, you know you spin the wheel a little bit. Let’s look at this action, let’s look at that, and I said, ‘Screw it. We’re gonna do what we started the game with. You’re going to have to figure it out. You’re going to have to touch the paint. You’re going to have to get the shots, and stop letting the ball stick.’ When we cleaned that up, I thought it got back on track.”
“We really just don’t want to get down on ourselves when that happens,” says senior Jay Huff, “because we’ve been in that situation before. I’ve been in more, 10 seconds left in the game, down two, or up two, situations than I can count. It doesn’t really make me too nervous, anymore. The same goes for when a team goes on a run. It just is kind of is what it is.”
Virginia started the 2nd half on a 12-5 run, and led by no fewer than five points the rest of the way.
Bennett says, “When we were setting down, they didn’t get a lot of easy stuff, and I thought that, slowly but surely, our mindset and our will was, we’re going to be hard to score against, and tough-minded.”
Junior Kihei Clark says, “We’re touching on what we can do, defensively. We’re holding guys pretty good. I think they hit two, last-second shots against the shot clock today. I think we’re doing a good job defensively, and I think we can just ramped it up a little more, and get a little better.”
Huff adds, “We haven’t quite figured out how to play the defense that we play together yet, just because it’s a rotating cast of characters. But once we figure it out, and it happens every year, once we figure it out, and I think today was a really good step in that direction, we can really get to what we know we can do, and what has been done, traditionally, in this program.”
Huff scored a game-high 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and blocked five shots.
Sam Hauser recorded his third-straight double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
UVA (7-2, 3-0 ACC) will be back in action on Wednesday at home against Notre Dame.