CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Kihei Clark scored all of his 14 points in the 2nd half, and the No. 9 Virginia men’s basketball team rallied to win 57-49 at Georgia Tech on Wednesday night.
The Cavaliers turned the ball over ten times in the first half, and they trailed 26-20 at intermission.
The 20 first-half points marked a season low for the ‘Hoos (24 vs. San Francisco).
Head coach Tony Bennett says, “I kind of just tried to wind our guys up at halftime saying, ‘Throw caution to the wind, but be sound, but be aggressive. You got to go make some plays, you got to go make some plays. You got to get into the paint, and Kihei shoot it. If they go onto the screen let it ride and shoot it’. And he did that. I thought he played terrific.”
Clark says, “I think it’s just a grinder of a game. We knew it was going be like that. So, we just try not to yield and just like coach Bennett said, ‘Just don’t back up and just meet the challenge.’ And I thought our toughness showed tonight, especially down the stretch in the second half.”
UVA opened the 2nd half on a 9-0 run, and they took the lead for good on a jumper by Clark with 5:26 remaining (45-44).
The junior point guard had six assists, and and made a career-high 4-of-8 three-point attempts, while only turning the ball over once.
The ‘Hoos were averaging 9.0 turnovers heading into the game, which was the lowest average in the nation, but they turned the ball over 17 times against the Yellow Jackets.
Trey Murphy III scored a game-high 18 points for Virginia, while Sam Hauser had eight points, ten rebounds, and five assists.
With the win, the Wahoos earned their tenth win in conference play for the 9th year in a row.
UVA (14-3, 10-1 ACC) is scheduled to be back in action at home against North Carolina on Saturday.