NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Three players scored in double-figures to lead No. 23 Virginia (5-2, 1-0 ACC) to a 66-57 win at Notre Dame (3-5, 0-2 ACC) on Wednesday night at Purcell Pavilion.
Kihei Clark (Woodland Hills, Calif.) led the team with 19 points and had five assists with no turnovers. Jay Huff (Durham, N.C.) had 15 points. Sam Hauser (Stevens Point, Wis.) finished with a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Hauser hit a three with just under two minutes to play and Huff added a dunk to seal the game for the Cavaliers. Virginia shot 47 percent, while Notre Dame shot 40 percent from the floor. The Cavaliers led in rebounds (35-31) and second chance points (10-2).
HOW IT HAPPENED
Huff hit the opening basket of the game and had six points in the first three minutes of the game to help UVA to an 11-4 lead early. Notre Dame closed it to two, but Casey Morsell (Fort Washington, Md.) made a couple of jumpers and Hauser sank a three to put UVA ahead 21-12 with 5:50 to go in the first half. After back-to-back threes by the Irish, Huff came up with a block and then hit a three on the other end and added two more baskets just before the half as UVA led 30-24 at the break.
The Cavaliers came out quick in the second half with a three by Clark and a jumper for Hauser to take their largest lead of the contest, 35-24. Notre Dame slowly closed the gap and cut it to 45-44 with 9:40 to play. Clark hit a jumper, but Notre Dame responded with a basket. Hauser hit a three and Justin McKoy (Cary, N.C.) added a layup to push the lead back to six, 52-46. A three by Hauser and dunk for Huff gave UVA a 65-55 lead with a minute to play.
THE GAME BALL GOES TO
Kihei Clark led UVA with 19 points for the second consecutive game. Clark added five assists and had no turnovers in the game.
FROM TONY BENNETT
On key plays in the game:
“In the postgame I talked about weeble’s wobble, but they don’t fall down. Our young guys, they don’t know what a weeble wobble is but all of us do. I think we got wobbling a few times, you got to right the ship and get back up. I think there’s just some good offensive plays. [Justin] McKoy gave us some plays, we kept some offensive rebounds alive. Actually Reece [Beekman] got his hands on a couple balls that were huge to save some easy buckets. And then, just key baskets from Kihei and Sam [Hauser], and just other ones, McKoy, so I really agree. I thought we made enough good offensive plays, took advantage and then enough key stops. It was hard at times [Nate] Laszewski was really good. He went, actually it was his dad went to SPASH where Sam Hauser’s from. his dad was there when my sister was there, actually was a very good player. Laszewski has really improved, and he was a load and Durham the Laszewski hurt us. We’ve had some trouble, we got to kind of sure up guarding some of these guys that are the good fours and fives and do the job. But enough good plays defensively and offensively. Still some breakdowns but hopefully we’ll, we’ll keep getting better. It was kind of everyone chipping in and that’s how it’ll have to be with this team and then we got to chip in and help each other defensively and offensively.”
- The Cavaliers (5-2) have a 13-game winning streak in ACC openers and are 12-0 in ACC openers under head coach Tony Bennett
- UVA has limited Notre Dame to 58 or fewer points in nine of the last 11 meetings
- Hauser recorded his first double-double at Virginia (8th career) with 13 points and 10 rebounds
- Justin McKoy contributed six points and matched a career high with six rebounds
Virginia returns home to host No. 24 Virginia Tech on Saturday, Jan. 2 at 4 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network.