FORT WORTH, Texas – No. 16 Virginia (4-2) fell 98-75 to No. 1 Gonzaga (7-0) on Saturday afternoon at Dickies Arena.
Three players finished in double figures for the Cavaliers. Kihei Clark (Woodland Hills, Calif.) led the team with 19 points, Trey Murphy III (Durham, N.C.) added 15 points and Sam Hauser (Stevens Point, Wis.) had 10.
Corey Kispert and Drew Timme led Gonzaga with 32 and 29 points, respectively. The Zags shot 60 percent from the field and 50 percent beyond the arc. UVA shot 48 percent from the field. The Cavaliers had 15 turnovers that led to 27 points for Gonzaga.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Gonzaga opened the game on a 7-0 run. Hauser had six of Virginia’s first eight points of the game. The Cavaliers were down 24-16 when Gonzaga mounted a 12-0 run to lead 36-16. Clark hit a layup and added a three, then Murphy hit a three as UVA kept trading baskets with the Zags. Virginia closed the first half on a 7-0 run that included back-to-back jumpers by Clark and a three from Murphy to trail 44-31 at the half.
Virginia fell behind 57-35 after Gonzaga opened the second half on a 13-4 run. Casey Morsell (Fort Washington, Md.) hit back-to-back baskets and Reece Beekman (Baton Rouge, La.) made a three with just under four minutes to go in the game. Justin McKoy (Cary, N.C.) added a three and Morsell scored the final basket of the game.
THE GAME BALL GOES TO
Kihei Clark led the team with 19 points, including nine just before the half as Virginia closed the gap at halftime. He added four assists.
FROM TONY BENNETT
On importance of getting off to a solid start again opponent of this caliber:
“Of course. You won’t have a chance against a team, really any good teams. They’re the best we’ve played by far and appear to be well deserving of that ranking. But if you don’t take care of the ball, it’s hard enough to stop them when your defense is back and set, they’ve got too many actions and skilled guys and we were fractured in that way, but when you give them points off turnovers, I think it was 19 in the first half, if I’m right, that puts you in a big hole. They really exposed some things that we have to go to work on and just try to, to sure up. That was discouraging for sure, but it’s those areas, you start with ball security on the offensive end and then you play from there. They hurt us in the areas we’ve tried to work hard on transition defense, making them shoot contested shots and taking care of the ball just start with that. And we couldn’t even get to that spot and execute at a high level.”
- Virginia is 1-3 all-time against Gonzaga in the series that dates back to the 2000-01 season
- Bennett is 2-2 all-time vs. Gonzaga (2-1 at Washington State)
- Jay Huff (3 blocks) has multiple blocks in each of the first six games
- Clark had a season-high 19 points
Virginia will open ACC play at Notre Dame on Wednesday, December 30 at 6 p.m. in Notre Dame, Ind. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network.