No. 13 Virginia scores 25 straight, romps past Ga Tech 74-56
ATLANTA (AP) — No. 13 Virginia blew away Georgia Tech with a 25-0 run beginning at the end of the first half and carrying over after the break, cruising to a 74-56 victory Saturday that pushed Tony Bennett into a tie with Terry Holland for the most coaching wins in Cavaliers history.
Virginia (10-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored the final nine points of the first half — all on 3-pointers off Georgia Tech turnovers — to take a 36-25 lead into halftime.
It would get worse — much worse — for the Yellow Jackets (7-6, 0-3) when the teams returned to the court. The Cavaliers ripped off another 16 points to make it 52-25 before the home team finally made a basket.
Kihei Clark had 15 points and eight assists to lead Virginia, which kept up its domination of Georgia Tech with a 10th straight victory in the series. Jayden Gardner added 14 points, while Armaan Franklin and Kadin Shedrick added 11 apiece.
Bennett improved to 326-119 in 14 years leading the Virginia men’s basketball program. He matched the win total compiled by Holland, who went 326-173 over a 16-season tenure as the Cavaliers’ coach that ended in 1990.
Bennett improved to 17-2 vs. Georgia Tech.
Looking to bounce back from an ugly 13-point home loss to Clemson before the 10-day Christmas break, Georgia Tech shook up its lineup by bringing top scorer Miles Kelly off the bench.
It did no good.
The Yellow Jackets have lost their first three ACC games by an average margin of nearly 16 points and appear headed for another dismal season. They went 12-20 a year ago.
Kelly scored 20 points but none of his teammates reached double figures. The Yellow Jackets turned it over 23 times.
Virginia: The Cavaliers set the tone with their accuracy beyond the arc. Eight of their 13 first-half baskets were 3-pointers, many coming in transition off Virginia’s smothering defense. Bennett’s team looked more like the team that rose to No. 2 in the rankings before consecutive losses to Houston and Miami.
Georgia Tech: Coach Josh Pastner has given little indication in his seven-year tenure that he can transform the Yellow Jackets into a perennial conference contender. Other than a surprising run to the ACC tournament title during the pandemic-marred 2020-21 season, the Yellow Jackets are 36-60 in league play under Pastner.
Virginia: Travels to Pittsburgh for its second straight ACC road game Tuesday night.
Georgia Tech: Hosts another ranked ACC team, No. 14 Miami, to wrap up a four-game homestand Wednesday night.