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Virginia Cavaliers Basketball: Hoos pull away from Notre Dame, improve to 14-1 in ACC

Once again, a second half surge proved the difference for the Wahoos. This time, Anthony Gill paced the Cavaliers in the paint.

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia used a 25-0 second half run Saturday to blow out Notre Dame 70-49 at John Paul Jones Arena. The Cavaliers recorded their 11th straight win and improved their ACC record to 14-1 and their overall record to 23-5. The 14 ACC wins represents a school record.

Despite the final score, Virginia had trouble putting Notre Dame away for most of the afternoon. The Cavaliers led by double digits early in the first half before a bevy of turnovers allowed the Irish to tie the game at halftime. Notre Dame actually led by four points in the second period as Virginia went cold from the field and struggled defensively. The tide seemed to turn on the back of sophomore forward Anthony Gill. The Charlotte native paced Virginia with 15 points and sparked the Wahoo rally with solid productivity in the paint midway through the second half.

Gill was also on the finishing end of the game's defining play. With Virginia up 5, Justin Anderson added another highlight reel block, denying a Zach Auguste dunk and starting a fast break. Malcolm Brogdon pushed the ball up the court and found Gill for a thunderous jam that electrified the Virginia crowd. Notre Dame never recovered; the Irish didn't score another basket until the two-minute mark.

Senior forward Akil Mitchell also tallied points for Virginia, while Brogdon added 13. During the defining 25-0 stretch, Virginia got scoring production from 6 different players.

Virginia remains atop the ACC standings with the victory and moves two games ahead of Syracuse in the win column. The Notre Dame game was the first of a three-game homestand. Virginia will host Miami on Wednesday night before the Orange come to town next Saturday.