The No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers finished out the non-conference schedule with a perfect 12-0 record as the Hoos easily handled the Marshall Thundering Herd, 100-64. With the victory, Tony Bennett secured his 300th win. This is the first time under Tony Bennet that the Hoos have hit 100 points.
Kyle Guy was outstanding as he set a new career high in points (30), rebounds (eight), and made threes in a game (seven). He was efficient from the field, connecting on 10-of-14 shots, including 7-for-9 from three.
Ty Jerome, Jay Huff, and De’Andre Hunter also reached double-digits in scoring with 14, 14, and 11, respectively. Virginia shot a blistering 53% from the field and assisted 18 of its 33 made baskets. The only real negative takeaway from the game was Virginia’s sloppiness with the ball at times as the Hoos finished with 16 turnovers. Kihei Clark struggled as he had five points on 1-for-5 shooting with two assists and four turnovers.
Virginia’s defense was stout, holding the Herd to 35% shooting and 27% from three. Marshall had 13 turnovers, and both Jerome and Diakite had three steals in the game
Virginia won the tip, but turned it over on their first two offensive possessions as the Hoos showed some rust coming off of the holiday break. Jerome connected from three on the Cavaliers’ first shot of the game, but Jannson Williams got one of his own on the other end. Diakite gave Virginia the lead right back with an offensive rebound and put back. He stayed involved in the action defensively with a block, but the Herd corralled the loose ball in a scrum and hit the jumper to tie it up at five.
Diakite connected for three, then stole the ball to set up Virginia’s offense again. A three pointer from Guy, floaters from Jerome and Guy, and a jump shot from Hunter gave Virginia a 17-5 lead with 14:16 to play. C.J. Burks ended a 4:16 scoring drought for Marshall, but appeared to taunt or stare down the Virginia bench and Coach Bennett after the shot. He was called for the technical foul, and Jerome made 1-of-2 from the line for the 18-7 lead.
Braxton Key pushed Virginia’s lead to 13 with a transition bucket off of a turnover by Marshall with 12:38 left in the half. Jay Huff added two free throws to put UVA up 22-7 until Burks connected with another two-pointer. Great ball movement allowed Huff to find Kihei Clark open in the corner for his first made three since returning from wrist surgery.
Marshall’s Christian Thieneman hit the Herd’s second three-pointer of the game, but Key answered with a layup. Two made free throws from Williams cut Virginia’s lead to 27-14 coming out of the under eight timeout. A turnover in the lane by Jerome led to a fast break dunk from the Herd. After a missed shot through contact by Guy, Jerome forced a turnover and found his backcourt mate for a three. Guy canned it and outstanding defense from Clark on Marshall’s Jon Elmore led to a long two from Jerome and a 32-16 lead.
The defense forced another stop, giving Virginia a chance to build their lead. Jack Salt facilitated back-to-back buckets by Hunter and Guy, then Guy added to it with a transition three off of a feed by Jerome. After a handful of free throws from Hunter, Mikel Beyers hit a three for the Herd to make it 42-19. Hunter muscled through the lane for a bucket, then added two more free throws to pad the Cavaliers’ lead.
Clark was called for a shooting foul against Elmore, sending Marshall’s leading scorer to the line where he scored his first points of the half. Huff barely missed on a three, and Marshall converted on the ensuing fast break to cut Virginia’s lead to 23. Key perfectly placed a bounce pass to Huff, who took off seemingly from the sideline for a thunderous dunk.
Virginia took a 50-25 lead into the half, led by Guy’s 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting (3-for-5 from three). Hunter added 11 first-half points and Jerome had 10 as the Cavaliers shot 57% from the field and 50% from three in the half. The Hoos had four turnovers in the half, leading to just one Marshall score. Salt was the only Virginia player to see the court and not score in the first half, but the senior big man had three assists and no turnovers.
Marshall struggled against the Pack Line, going 9-for-27 (33%) from the field and 3-for-11 (27%) from three in the first half. The Herd had 10 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play, which the Cavaliers were able to turn into 13 points.
Guy opened the second half with his fourth three-pointer of the game, after Virginia was given possession to start the half despite the arrow going with Marshall. The play stood, and Virginia’s defense held strong on the Herd’s first possession of the half. After a three from Jerome missed, Diakite saved the ball out of bounds to Salt, who found Diakite again for the bucket. Two more threes from Guy sandwiched a Salt drive and finish in the lane, pushing Virginia’s lead to 65-28.
Elmore connected from three for his first field goal of the game, coming at the 15:34 mark of the second half. After a Diakite bucket as the shot clock expired, Elmore bullied his way through the lane for a layup.
Guy completed the old-fashioned three-point play before the Herd went on a mini 5-0 run via three free throws from Elmore and a make from Burks. Jerome stopped the run with a tough layup off of a drive, putting Virginia up 72-38 with 12:15 to play.
Marshall added a jumper from Burks and one made free throw from Elmore, and Key pulled off a nifty spin move in the lane and finished at the rim on the other end of the court.
With 6:26 left in the game, Huff found Guy all alone in the corner and he didn’t miss. The make was his seventh of the game, giving him a new career high in makes and points. Virginia went to its bench shortly after, bringing in Kody Statttman (who promptly hit a three), Marco Anthony, and Frankie Badocchi to play alongside Clark and Huff.
Badocchi scored his first points as a Cavalier with 2:33 left in the game as he put back a Stattmann miss from three. Things got a little sloppy at the end, but Grant Kersey gave the loyal fans in attention the exclamation point they wanted as he hit a fadeaway three to give Virginia 100 points.
Next up, Virginia starts conference play as they host No. 9 Florida State on Saturday afternoon.