It wasn’t always pretty, but the No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers got a huge road win to complete the season sweep of the No. 20 Virginia Tech Hokies, 64-58. The Hoos improved to 23-2 (11-2 ACC) with the win, while Virginia Tech dropped to 20-7 (9-5 ACC). This is the first time in three seasons that the two teams didn’t split their regular season matchups as Virginia dominated Virginia Tech in the previous meeting this year.
The Cavaliers had a sloppy game with 13 turnovers, but they improved as the game went on with only five in the second half. Virginia Tech shot just 3-for-27 (11%) from beyond the arc, despite entering the game leading the ACC in 3-point shooting (42%).
Kyle Guy was outstanding with 23 points for his third straight game with at least 20 points. Guy shot 8-for-15 from the field and 6-for-13 from three and added a team-high six rebounds. He struggled with four turnovers, but had three assists and two steals to go with it.
De’Andre Hunter sat the majority of the first half with foul trouble, but finished with 10 points on 4-for-9 shooting. Ty Jerome added 16 points, three rebounds, six assists, and a steal in the win.
Kerry Blackshear led Virginia Tech with 23 points, and Ahmed Hill added 16. The Hokies got 38 points in the paint and 13 points off of turnovers in the game.
Virginia Tech got on the board first, but Hunter evened things up at two with a fadeaway jumper from just outside the lane. Blackshear connected on a three as the shot clock expired to hand the lead right back to the Hokies with 18:09 to play in the first half. A three from Guy gave Virginia its first lead of the game, but the two teams traded baskets as Virginia Tech took an 9-7 lead.
Jerome missed a jumper off the front iron, but a bad pass from the Hokies gave the ball back to the Hoos. A high-floating one-hander from Jerome tied the game at nine. Virginia Tech re-took the lead off of a poorly defended baseline play by the Hoos, and Kihei Clark’s first shot attempt badly missed.
The Hokies weren’t able to extend their lead after a missed three from Alexander-Walker pre-empted a foul from Ty Outlaw that gave Virginia the ball back. After a couple misses from Guy and Clark, Mamadi Diakite drew a foul and made one-of-two at the line to cut Virginia’s deficit to one.
Kerry Blackshear got a two to fall over Hunter, and the latter picked up his second foul of the game on a questionable charge call. Wabissa Bede was called for a hook-and-hold flagrant foul, sending Guy to the line where he made one free throw. The Hoos got the ball back after the free throws, and Diakite tied the game at 13.
Virginia got the lead back at 16-13 with a banked-in three from Guy with 9:24 to play. He got another look on the next possession, but couldn’t get it to fall and Ty Outlaw made them pay with a three of his own to tie it. The tie didn’t last long as Guy hit his third three of the half to put the Hoos back on top.
Jerome extended Virginia’s lead with a make on a three as he was being fouled, and added the free throw to complete the four-point play to put Virginia up 23-16 with 6:33 to play in the half. Blackshear hit a jumper late in the shot clock to cut the deficit back to five points. Back-to-back turnovers from Virginia resulted in dunks for Blackshear, bringing the Hokies back within one at 23-22.
Diakite’s first bucket gave Virginia a little more breathing room, and Guy followed a miss from Braxton Key to extend the lead with this monster dunk:
A layup from Alexander-Walker made it a three point game again, but Guy countered it to give the Hoos a five point advantage with 1:45 to play. Blackshear cut the lead again with a jumper, and one free throw from Alexander-Walker cut Virginia’s lead to 29-27. Guy’s fourth three of the half put the Hoos ahead by five, but a turnover under the basket with four seconds gave Isaiah Wilkins an easy layup as time expired to send the two teams into the half with Virginia leading 32-29.
Virginia shot 46% from the field and 36% from three in the first half, led by Guy’s 17 points. Guy shot 4-for-8 from beyond the arc, and 6-for-10 overall to go with three rebounds, two assists, and a steal. The Hoos were sloppy with the ball, turning it over eight times that led to six points for the Hokies. Hunter played just six minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, and Diakite led the team with five rebounds.
Virginia Tech shot 46% from the field, but just 15% (2-for-13) from three in the first 20 minutes and got 15 of their points from Blackshear. Despite a height advantage for the Hoos, VT had eight second chance points and 20 points in the paint.
Ahmed Hill opened the second half with a three-pointer for the Hokies to tie things up at 32. After a miss from VT on their next possession, Blackshear was called for a hook-and-hold that sent Jack Salt to the free throw line for the flagrant foul free throws. He made one-of-two at the line to give Virginia a one-point lead, but Hunter missed a three on the ensuing possession for the Hoos.
Salt played solid defense on Blackshear on the next trip down the court, forcing the latter into a late-shotclock miss from three. Diakite made one-for-two at the free throw line to give Virginia a two-point lead, but Hill tied things up after Guy coughed the ball up on offense.
Jerome connected on a difficult, off-balance three to give Virginia the advantage back, but Alexander-Walker drew a foul on Salt and went to the line where he made one to pull VT back within two at 37-35 with 16:21 to play. A long two from Hunter gave the Cavaliers a four-point lead before one more free throw make from Alexander-Walker.
Guy’s fifth three of the game came off of an assist from Jerome and put the Hoos up 42-36. Blackshear backed off Diakite and finished a floater in the lane to keep the pressure on, but great ball movement on the offense found Diakite for a huge dunk.
Virginia stole the ball from the Hokies off of an in-bounds play, but Guy turned it over on the other end on a terrible pass. Alexander-Walker couldn’t get a three to go, and Diakite corralled the rebound. An aggressive drive by Hunter drew a foul, and he made both at the line to give the Hoos their biggest lead of the game at eight.
Hunter out-powered all five Hokies under the basket — twice — to get a rebound on his own miss to put Virginia up by 10 with 11:08 to play. Two free throws from Blackshear cut the lead back to eight, and then Jonathan Kabongo made it a five point game with an old-fashioned three point play.
A pull-up three from Jerome pushed it to 51-43 with 9:18 to play, and a steal and dunk from Hunter gave the Hoos a 10 point lead once again. After another steal — this one by Jerome — Diakite had a dunk wave off for basket interference. VT was unable to cut into the lead, and Key made it a 56-43 advantage with 5:51 to play.
Key had a lazy pass picked at the top of the key that led to an easy run out for Hill, and a missed shot from Diakite gave Alexander-Walker a layup to pull the Hokies back within single digits at the 4:35 mark. Jerome got a tough layup to fall through contact, but then was whistled for a foul on the defensive end. Hill made both, cutting Virginia’s lead back to nine with 3:49 remaining.
Hunter couldn’t get the mid-range jump shot to go, but Hill missed a three. After burning a little more clock, Jerome’s three wouldn’t fall and Blackshear’s layup made it a seven point game. Guy’s sixth three of the night quieted the crowd momentarily as Hill drew a foul against Diakite as he finished the layup. Hill made the free throw to close the Hokies within seven with 1:25 remaining.
Despite entering the game 1-for-13 from three, Key hit his second of the game to give Virginia a 64-54 lead with just under a minute left. The refs gifted Tech a goaltending call to take a block from Diakite and keep the Hokies within arms reach with 26 seconds to play. Diakite missed a dunk at the end, but Virginia would come away with the 64-58 win on the road.
Next up, Virginia stays on the road and plays No. 18 Louisville.