No. 2 Virginia barely outlasts Virginia Tech, 50-47
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Justin Anderson scored eight of his 12 points during a late 12-0 run and No. 2 Virginia barely escaped a sold-out Cassell Coliseum with a 50-47 victory against Virginia Tech.
The Cavaliers (19-0, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 43-33 after the Hokies outscored them 30-9 in a long stretch spanning the halves. It included a span of 9:14 between the Cavaliers' first basket of the second half and its next points, the latter pulling them within 43-36 with 10:20 remaining.
After Christian Beyer's inside basket for the Hokies (8-11, 0-6), Anderson made a 3-pointer from the left corner. Darion Atkins followed with two free throws, Anderson scored on a game-tying alley-oop dunk on a pass from London Perrantes and then made another 3-pointer, giving Virginia back the lead at 48-45.
Ahmed Hill scored with 1:06 to play for the Hokies, but missed a free throw that resulted from the play. Atkins kept the Hokies in it by missing a free throw with 12.8 seconds left, but Adam Smith's long 3-pointer spun around the inside of the rim and then popped back out as time expired.
The Hokies trailed 30-27 at halftime, but had momentum and a sellout crowd on their side.
Brogdon hit a 3-pointer 26 seconds into the second half, and it seemed likely the Cavaliers would begin to do what thay have so often this season - methodically exert their will at both ends and take command.
Instead, Malik Muller scored in the lane for Virginia Tech, and followed a Virginia turnover with a 3-pointer from the left corner. That quickly brought the crowd all the way back, and the Hokies extended their run to 16-0, getting a 35-second violation, a few more turnovers and seven points from Smith.
The last two points kind of typified the game at that point: Virginia 7-footer Mike Tobey pulled in a rebound under his basket, and Devin Wilson ripped it from his hands and drove all the way for a layup.
The seeds of the frenetic atmosphere had been sown in the first half when the Hokies, looking tentative at first, used a 12-2 run to turn a 24-13 deficit into a 26-25 deficit, setting the tone that continued throughout.
Virginia: The Cavaliers shot just 34.7 percent (17-49) and allowed the Hokies to shoot 45.2 percent (19-42).
Virginia Tech: Sunday's game completed a string of four consecutive games against teams in the top 15 for the Hokies. The streak started at No. 10 Louisville and No. 15 North Carolina and included a Thursday night visit from No. 8 Notre Dame before the game against the Cavaliers.
Virginia plays Duke next Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena.
The Hokies host Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.
Follow Hank on twitter at: http://twitter.com/hankkurzjr