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Jan 21, 2003

Final Stats

AP Sports Writer

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Bryant Matthews scored 22 of his career-high 30points in the second half Tuesday night and Virginia Tech beat Virginia 73-55,emphatically ending a six-game losing streak against the Cavaliers.

The Hokies (8-8), coming off a 92-79 victory against Providence on Saturdaythat opened a four-game homestand, took the lead for good with 9:54 left whenEric Branham made a pair of free throws. Branham took a pass from Matthews andscored on a layup to make it 52-48 with 9:16 left.

Virginia (10-6), coming off a 1-point loss at Clemson on Saturday, fell to1-5 on the road for the season. The Hokies had a season-high 16 steals and weremore physical inside and more athletic away from the ball.

Matthews, whose 26 points against the Friars was his previous high, cappedthe rout with a two-handed dunk with 2.9 seconds left, and when the finalseconds ticked off the clock, students flooded the court.

The game turned quickly after Branham’s burst.

A basket by Derrick Byars for Virginia made it 52-50, but Matthews hit a15-footer, Elton Brown scored for Virginia and the Hokies scored six straightto take a 60-52 lead, the largest since early in the game.

Virginia never got back in it, and in the final minute, Matthews twicefinished possessions with two-handed dunks, bringing near bedlam to CassellColiseum. The excitement exploded at the final gun and fans rushed the court tocongratulate the Hokies with security helpless to stop it.

Carlos Dixon added 15 points for the Hokies, now 2-0 on their four-gamehomestand that continues Saturday against Big East foe St. John’s.

The Cavaliers were led by Travis Watson with 11 points. Watson also wasjeered all game long as the physical play inside grew fierce.

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