Key unlocking next level with Wahoos

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Braxton Key walked out of the Virginia locker room with a smile on his face Tuesday night after the Cavaliers overtime win at NC State. The Alabama transfer was coming off one of his best games in a Cavalier uniform.

Key scored eight points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in the win over the Wolfpack. Those eight rebounds were one off his Virginia career-high. It also matched what he's done all season, lead the Cavaliers on the glass.

He's averaging a team-high 5.8 rebounds per game, and his teammates are noticing.

"I think the world of Jack and them," junior guard Kyle Guy said, "but he might be our best rebounder on the team."

Key also made some key plays on defense for the Cavaliers in Raleigh. But there's still one thing the rest of the Cavaliers want from him.

"The guys lift me up every day," Key said. "They want me to score more, so I'm just kind of trying to figure that out and filling in whenever I can."

"He's big for us," said sophomore De'Andre Hunter. "He hustles. He's another big body out there. He can score as well and he's a great defender so its just another guy who can basically do everything when he's on the court."

Key was made eligible for the Wahoos just before the season started and started the first five games for Virginia. Since then, he's been one of the first players off the bench for the past 15 games.

"Just give a lift however I can," Key said. "I thought tonight, just getting rebounds and playing really good defense on whoever I had a switch on was really my goal. Whatever I have to do to help the team win, that's what I'm going to do."

"If he can do that every single night," Guy added, "we're going to be really hard to beat because he made some tremendous plays, even if it didn't show up in the stat book. He was part of the reason we were able to pull this win out."