No. 8 Virginia aims to extend win streak vs. No. 20 Virginia Tech
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No. 8 Virginia hasn't lost an Athletic Coast Conference game in nearly a year and hasn't lost a true road game all season.
The Cavaliers (11-2, 7-0 ACC) will try to continue those trends and extend their seven-game winning streak on Saturday night when they travel to Blacksburg, Va., to face No. 20 Virginia Tech.
The Hokies (12-3, 6-2) are 8-1 at home, with the only loss coming to Penn State of the Big Ten on Dec. 8. Their last ACC loss at Cassell Coliseum came against these same Cavaliers last February.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Virginia's Jay Huff said. "(They're) a hard-nosed, tough team playing good basketball. I really respect the job that Coach (Mike Young) has done and how they're defending and how they share the ball, and they play really hard."
The same can be said of Huff's Cavaliers, who have allowed just 57.9 points per game during their winning streak.
Last time out, Virginia limited Syracuse to 37.3 percent shooting from the field and 21.7 percent (5 of 23) from 3-point range in an 81-58 victory against the Orange on Monday in Charlottesville, Va.
Huff scored a career-high 21 points and matched his career high with 12 rebounds. Fellow senior Sam Hauser had 21 points and knocked down 7 of 13 attempts from behind the arc. Kihei Clark dished nine of Virginia's season-high 23 assists, and Trey Murphy III chipped in 16 points.
Hauser, who leads the Cavaliers in scoring (15.0) and rebounding (7.4), was a game-time decision against Syracuse due to back spasms.
"It felt good enough to play, so I figured I'd just play," Hauser said. "Obviously, I shot the ball pretty well, so maybe it wasn't the worst thing I got a back spasm."
The Cavaliers have won 15 consecutive ACC games since an 80-73 loss at Louisville on Feb. 8, 2020. They are 3-0 on their opponents' home floors this season, with wins at Notre Dame, Boston College and Clemson.
Virginia has swept the last four meetings in this Commonwealth Cup rivalry.
The suddenly short-handed Hokies are coming off a 62-51 victory Wednesday night at Notre Dame, their first game since starting guard Tyrece Radford (11.1 points, 6.3 rebounds per game) was suspended indefinitely from the team. He was arrested on Sunday and charged with driving while intoxicated and carrying a concealed weapon, the Roanoke Times reported.
Keve Aluma (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Justyn Mutts (14 and 11) both had double-doubles against the Fighting Irish, while Nahiem Alleyne nearly joined them with 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Hunter Cattoor sank four 3-pointers and scored 13 points.
Virginia Tech bounced back nicely from a 78-60 loss at Syracuse on Jan. 23. The Hokies held Notre Dame to 35.7 percent shooting from the field, including 16.7 percent (3 of 18) from downtown. Virginia Tech tallied eight steals and seven blocks and outrebounded the Irish by 10 (46-36).
"Everyone on the team goes into every game trying to give it their all," Mutts said after the win in South Bend, Ind. "Tyrece is a big part of this team. What happened was unfortunate, but you have to roll with the punches."
--Field Level Media
Updated January 28, 2021