The No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers made easy work of visiting Morgan State, defeating the Bears 83-45 to improve to 8-0 on the season.
De’Andre Hunter led the way in scoring for Virginia with 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting (2-for-3 from three). Kyle Guy added 15 points of his own and shot 3-for-5 from three. Kody Stattmann had himself a career day with nine points and saw 11 minutes of action. Ty Jerome and Marco Anthony finished the game with eight points, and Braxton Key and Jack Salt added six apiece. The Hoos shot 54% from the floor and 36% from three, and assisted 17 of their 27 made baskets in the game. Virginia had active hands, stealing the ball nine times and coming up with five blocks as a team.
Morgan State shot just 26% from the field (21% from three), and scored just 22 points in the second half (12 of which came at the free throw line late) as the Hoos cushioned their lead.
Jerome opened the scoring for the Cavaliers on a reverse layup, and Guy added to it with a three pointer off of an assist from Salt. Martez Cameron put the Bears on the board with a layup with 18:19 left in the half. The newly offensively minded Salt sent home a floater with the left hand to put the Hoos up 7-2. Morgan State answered with a three-pointer of their own with two seconds left on the shot clock, but Hunter was left wide open and connected on a three to give Virginia a five point lead once again.
Guy hit his second three of the half to push the lead to 13-5, and a Jerome trey (after another bucket by the Bears) made it 16-7. Morgan State scored on another easy drive through the lane, but the Cavaliers easily broke the ensuing press to give Hunter a look at a floater in the lane to double up the Bears at 18-9 with 15:23 to play.
Mamadi Diakite entered the game and promptly registered a block. A layup from Braxton Key on a breakaway after a steal put Virginia up 21-9 before Victor Curry hit a tough shot over Diakite’s outstretched hand and bounced around before falling through. Another three from Hunter gave the Hoos a 12-point lead with 12:23 left in the half.
Virginia started the game 9-for-10 from the field and 5-for-6 from three in the first eight minutes of play. A steal by Morgan State gave Stanley Davis a runout for a dunk and cut the lead back to nine. Marco Anthony found Jay Huff with a smart bounce pass for a dunk and the 27-14 lead. Kihei Clark pushed the advantage to 16 points on an old-fashioned three point play as he found space in the lane and connected with a floater and the free throw.
Kyson Rawls hit Morgan State’s second three pointer of the half to make it 30-17 with 8:24 left in the half. There was a scary moment as Hunter was run into by the Bears’ Davis, seemingly making contact with his head, but he shook it off and stayed in the game. Hunter drew a foul on the ensuing possession and made just one of two before being spelled by Key.
Salt fought for a loose ball on the defensive end, somehow passing it forward to Guy who finished with an emphatic dunk on the other end. Another gorgeous pass—this one from Clark—found Key for a layup. Another steal allowed us to see Salt dribble in the open floor and go behind his back, but he was fouled on the play. He converted both at the free throw line, giving Virginia a 37-17 lead. Two free throws from Anthony and another three from Jerome pushed Virginia’s advantage to 25 points with just over four minutes left in the half.
Morgan State hit a three to give the Bears 20 points and end a 5:35 scoring drought. Kody Stattmann connected on his first three pointer as a Cavalier, but the Bears answered with their fourth of the half to send the Hoos into the half leading 47-23.
Virginia shot 65%, including going 7-for-11 (64%) from three. Guy led the Hoos with 10 points, followed by Hunter with nine and Jerome with eight. The Hoos turned it over seven times in the first half after turning the ball over just twice all game on the road against Maryland. Morgan State turned the ball over 10 times in the first half, leading to 12 points for the Hoos.
Defensively, Virginia held the Bears to 35% shooting from the field and 34% from three. The Hoos had five steals and three blocks in the first half. Morgan State’s Martez Cameron led the Bears in the first half with four points. Five other players had three points in the half.
Virginia opened the second half scoring with a pull-up jumper from Hunter, putting him in double digits in all eight games so far this season. A tip-out offensive rebound by Salt was saved by Hunter and Clark, and the offense repaid the big man for his efforts with a dish for an easy dunk. Morgan State scored their first bucket of the second half with a layup in the lane after some miscommunication between Jerome and Salt.
Neither team scored for a three minute stretch before Morgan State hit a tough jumper with 13:46 remaining. A fast break led to a layup for De’Andre Hunter, ending a 4:49 drought for the Hoos. The Hoos started the half shooting 4-for-15 (27%) and went 0-for-7 from three after being so hot in the first half.
Guy canned a three fro the corner to hit Virginia’s first of the half—and his third of the game—to extend the lead to 31 points with 11:14 to play. A long two from Guy, some free throws from Stattmann, and a nice and-one play from Diakite put the Hoos up 67-28 with 4:45 to play. Virginia put the subs in with six minutes to play as the Hoos cruised to the easy win. A breakaway by Grant Kersey led to an emphatic dunk by Austin Katstra, and free throws from Kersey made it so everyone who saw the floor for the Hoos scored in the game. Kersey would add a layup and convert the and-one to cap off the game.
Ball security—Virginia finished with 13 turnovers—and cold shooting in the second half were the only real negatives from the game, the latter of which has become a bit of an issue here in the early season.
Next up, Virginia hosts VCU on Sunday at 1:30.