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No. 18 Virginia dominates Notre Dame, 80-68

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Hoos hot offensively as Virginia improves to 4-0 in ACC play.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Boston College Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The game time for Virginia’s Wednesday afternoon game against the Irish changed several times, but the Hoos were clearly ready to play as they used hot scoring to take down Notre Dame, 80-68. Virginia improved to 8-2 (4-0 ACC) on the season with the win, while Notre Dame fell to 3-8 (0-5 ACC).

Five players hit double digits for the Cavaliers in the win, led by Jay Huff with 18 points. Casey Morsell was fantastic in the win, scoring 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Sam Hauser finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, breaking his streak of double-doubles in ACC play. Kihei Clark added 12 points and six assists, and Trey Murphy hit 10 points in style as he finished with an emphatic dunk.

As a team, the Cavaliers shot 54% from the field and 12-for-24 from three. The Hoos finished with eight turnovers, leading to 14 points for the Irish.

Cormac Ryan led the Irish with 16 points as Notre Dame had four players in double-digits. The Irish shot 43% from the field and 23% from three, a number that was buoyed by a 44% mark in the second half.

Virginia led for most of the first half, with Notre Dame taking a brief 6-5 lead off of a bucket from Durham with 16:40 to play. The Hoos rattled off a 13-4 run over the next seven minutes of game time to retake the lead and build an 18-10 advantage. After getting out to a 10-point lead, back-to-back buckets from Notre Dame brought it back to a six-point game. Three-pointers from Huff (x2) and Hauser over a 1:10 span broke the game open and gave the Hoos some breathing room.

Huff was the story of the first half, hitting four of his first six attempts from three — all from the same spot on the floor — en route to 12 points. His 12 points were the difference in the first half as Virginia took a 37-25 lead into the break. Hauser led the Hoos with 13 points and six rebounds in the first half, and Clark dished four assists.

Virginia shot 52% from the field and a blistering 7-for-14 from three over the first 20 mins. The Cavaliers turned it over four times, leading to six points for the Irish.

Notre Dame struggled from deep in the first half, going just 1-for-13 (7.7%) from three. They shot 33% from the field, led by Durham’s 10 points. The Irish only committed three fouls in the first half, leading to just two points for the Hoos.

The Cavaliers pushed their lead to 15 early in the second half thanks to a big three from Clark and buckets down low from the likes of Huff, Hauser, and Caffaro.

Notre Dame improved from three in the second half, going 4-for-9 from deep, and an 8-0 run cut Virginia’s lead to 12 with 7:26 to play. Murphy connected with a three to end a 2:38 scoring drought for the Hoos. Another mini-run from the Irish made it a 10-point game with 5:42 remaining. Both teams traded buckets, with Virginia holding a 68-58 lead as the clock ticked through five minutes to play.

Strong defense down low from Caffaro led to a steal for Beekman and allowed the Hoos to burn more clock before Morsell hit his third three of the game. Another empty possession for Notre Dame gave Virginia a chance to build on the lead once again, and a floater from Clark and a steal-and-dunk from Beekman made it 75-58 with 2:40 to play. Virginia got an old-fashioned three-point play from Clark and Murphy’s dunk to close out scoring.

Next up, Virginia heads to No. 12 Clemson for a huge matchup both in terms of getting the Hoos a ranked win and for the ACC standings. The game is set to tip off at 6pm on ESPN.