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Huff and Hauser lead Virginia to 61-49 win over Boston College

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Hoos improve to 3-0 in conference play.

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

The Virginia Cavaliers improved to 3-0 in the ACC on Saturday afternoon with a win over Boston College on the road. After a back-and-forth first half that saw both teams go through significant scoring droughts, the Cavaliers pulled away in the second half to secure the win. Boston College fell to 2-9 (0-4 ACC) with the loss.

Jay Huff tied a career-high in points as he led the Hoos with 18 points in the victory. Huff was a monster on the defensive end, finishing with five blocks and a steal. Sam Hauser kept up his streak of a double-double in each ACC game played so far as he scored 17 points and added 10 rebounds. Kihei Clark was efficient, scoring 12 points on 6-for-8 scoring to go with three assists.

As a team, the Hoos shot 45% from the field and 27% from three. Virginia took advantage of Boston College’s mistakes, turning 11 Eagle turnovers into 17 points. The 49 points scored by BC were the fewest in a game yet this season and came just one game after the Eagles put up 82 in a loss at Duke.

This is the fourth straight season that the Cavaliers have opened ACC play with three straight wins.

Defensively, Virginia held Jay Heath and Wynston Tabbs — Boston College’s top scorers — to a combined six points on 2-for-19 shooting. Tabbs, who came into the game averaging a team-high 15.6 points per game, was held scoreless in the contest. BC shot 31% from the field and 29% from three, led by DeMarr Langford with 14 points.

Early on, Virginia built as much as a seven point lead over the Eagles before a 5-0 run by BC cut the Hoos’ lead to 18-16 with just over 11 minutes to play in the first half. Neither team would score for the next three-plus minutes as turnovers, misses, and blocks reigned supreme. Boston College broke the nearly six-minute scoring drought with a three, then used a fast break to take a 21-18 led with 5:33 left in the half.

The Cavalier scoring drought lasted 8:44 as Virginia went 0-for-9 from the field and committed five turnovers. In that span, Boston College scored 14-straight, building a 25-18 lead. A much-needed three from Murphy finally got the Hoos off of 18, and Clark found Huff for an easy dunk to close back within two.

Clark put Virginia back out in front as the Hoos rattled off a 7-0 run. Huff would add two free throws to answer one from BC, sending Virginia into the break up 29-26.

The first half was a game of runs, and Virginia closed on an 11-1 run to turn a 7-point deficit into a 3-point lead. Virginia shot 42% from the field and 38% from three over the first 20 minutes, but gave up seven points on nine offensive rebounds. Huff led with 10 points apiece and added five first-half blocks.

Virginia turned it over five times in the first half — all during that scoring drought — but the Eagles only turned them into two points. Boston College shot 31% from the field and the three point line for the first half, led by Langford with seven points.

Boston College opened the second half with a three to tie the game, but back-to-back buckets from Clark gave the Hoos a four-point lead. The Eagles turned the ball over on their next three possessions, and two free throws from Beekman pushed Virginia’s lead to six.

The Hoos took a 10-point lead with 12:38 to play thanks to an emphatic Huff dunk, but BC cut it back to five with a quick three and bucket. Strong defense by the Cavaliers and more strong offense by Huff pushed the lead to 51-39 with just over 7:30 left in the game.

Virginia took control late, leading by as many as 17 as they were able to cruise to a win. Next up, the Hoos host Notre Dame at 2:30 on Wednesday, January 13. The game will be broadcast by the ACC Network.