UNCASVILLE, CONN. – No. 7 Virginia (5-0) led by as many as 16 and never trailed as it topped UMass (5-1), 58-46 in the Air Force Reserve Hall of Fame Tip Off Semifinal on Saturday afternoon at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Three players finished in double figures to lead the Cavaliers. Braxton Key (Charlotte, N.C.) had 16 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Kihei Clark (Woodland Hills, Calif.) had 14 points with six assists. Jay Huff (Durham, N.C.) added 10 points and eight rebounds.
Virginia shot 42 percent from the field, while UMass was 30 percent. The Cavaliers led on the boards, 40-26, and 30-18 in points in the paint.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Key scored the points of the game and have UVA’s first six points. Huff then scored four-straight baskets as the Cavaliers led 19-9 at the 9:07 mark in the first half. Virginia extended its lead to 29-13 with a 10-0 run. UMass closed the first half on an 11-0 run as UVA led 29-24 at the half.
UMass got as close as three points but could not get any closer. Virginia would go on a 12-2 run to lead 49-33 with 4:53 to play. The Cavaliers closed out the 58-46 win with a Dunk by Key.
THE GAME BALL GOES TO
Braxton Key had a game-high 16 points and started the game 3-for-3. Key added seven boards and three assists.
• UVA has captured six straight November tournament championships (Emerald Coast Classic, Charleston Classic, Barclays Center Classic, Corpus Christi Challenge, NIT Season Tip-Off and Battle 4 Atlantis)
• UVA limited its fourth opponent to 30 percent or less field goal shooting (UMass – 30%)
• Key had season highs in points (16) and steals (3)
• Casey Morsell had a season-high six rebounds
Virginia will play either Arizona State or St. John’s on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the championship game.