CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Devin Wilson scored 11 points, but the Virginia Tech Hokies’ cold shooting spelled doom in their game against Virginia, as Tech fell 65-45 to the in-state rival Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The loss marked the Hokies’ sixth straight and the eighth in their past nine games. They fell to 8-11 overall on the season, 1-6 in ACC play. UVa, which beat the Hokies for the fourth straight time, moved to 15-5 overall, 6-1 in league play.
The 45 points marked the fewest Tech has scored in an ACC game since falling 69-44 to Duke in Durham, N.C., on Jan. 4, 2009.
“That was a very good Virginia basketball team, and they contributed to our offensive woes,” Tech coach James Johnson said. “I thought going into the game that they were playing some of the best basketball in the country, and they continued that.
“I thought we came out for a while and fought and competed, but we left too many possessions out there. I talked to the team about every possession counts, especially the way they [the Cavaliers] play. Every possession is big. We left some points at the free-throw line and missed some open shots, but they had a lot to do with it. They’re a very good defensive team, and they’re shooting the lights out right now. They’re playing extremely well right now.”
Tech suffered through a miserable first half on the offensive end of the floor. The Hokies shot just 27.3 percent, making only six field goals. Tech only trailed 13-11 after the Hokies’ Ben Emelogu banked in a 3-pointer with 14:35 left in the half, but the Hokies only hit two more baskets the rest of the half.
Tech went more than eight minutes without scoring during one stretch. UVa closed the half with a 21-6 run and led 34-17 at halftime. The Cavaliers shot 54 percent from the floor and got 11 points from Malcolm Brogdon and 10 from Joe Harris in the half.
“If we step up to the line and make a couple of free throws, we stop the bleeding there,” Johnson said. “Maybe get to the offensive glass and get something easy there. A couple of times during that run, we got the ball inside and got fouled, but missed the free throws. [Jarell] Eddie went to the line and missed two free throws. How many times is Eddie [an 82 percent free-throw shooter] going to the line and missing two free throws? During those stretches, you’ve got to have those types of things.”
In the second half, the Hokies tried to climb back in it. They cut the lead to 36-24 on a layup by Cadarian Raines with 17:44 remaining. But Harris hit two free throws for UVa, and after Tech’s C.J. Barksdale made the first of two free throws, UVa’s Brogdon nailed a 3-pointer. That started an 8-0 UVa run, and the Hokies never threatened again.
Tech shot a season-worst 33.3 percent from the floor for the game and made just 3 of 18 from beyond the 3-point arc – tying for the fewest 3-pointers made in a game this season. Wilson, coming off a career-high 26 points against Wake Forest, made just 2 of 8 from the floor, but did make 8 of 11 from the free-throw line. Barksdale, Eddie and Joey van Zegeren each scored seven points.
“It was really tough to get going,” Wilson said. “They play really good defense. Give them credit. They packed it in really tight, and they forced us to make jump shots. We weren’t making jump shots. Whenever you’re not making jump shots against a team that packs it in, it’s going to be a rough game.”
Brogdon paced the Cavaliers with 18 points, hitting 6 of 10 from the floor and 4 of 5 from beyond the 3-point arc. Harris added 12 points.
The Hokies travel north for their next game, heading to Chestnut Hill, Mass., for a Wednesday night game against the Boston College Eagles, who defeated the Hokies on Jan. 11. Tipoff for the game is 7 p.m.
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