CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Five players scored in double-figures to lead No. 18 Virginia (8-2, 4-0 ACC) to an 80-65 win over Notre Dame (3-8, 0-5 ACC) on Wednesday afternoon at John Paul Jones Arena.
Jay Huff (Durham, N.C.) matched his career high for the second straight game with 18 points, making a career-high four threes, and had two blocks. Casey Morsell (Fort Washington, Md.) had a season high 15 points, starting the game 5-for-5. Sam Hauser (Stevens Point, Wis.) finished just shy of his fourth consecutive double-double with 15 points and a team high nine rebounds. Kihei Clark (Woodland Hills, Calif.) had 12 points and six assists and Trey Murphy III (Durham, N.C.) added 10 points with four assists.
Virginia shot 54.4 percent from the field and was 50 percent from three-point range. The Cavaliers made 12 threes, while holding Notre Dame to 23 percent beyond the arc. UVA led in rebounds (29-27). Virginia held Notre Dame to 1-of-11 from three in the first half. Cormac Ryan led the Irish with 16 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Huff opened the game with a three and hit a career high four in the first half. Four of Virginia’s first six baskets were three-pointers, as Morsell and Murphy III each hit one. Huff hit back-to-back three-pointers, then took a charge on the other end. Hauser followed with a three to give Virginia a 33-18 lead over Notre Dame at the 3:13 mark in the first half. The Cavaliers took a 37-25 lead into the half.
Hauser hit a layup and Clark made a three to open the second half. Virginia continued to open up its lead with a 9-0 run. Francisco Caffaro (Santa Fe, Argentina) started it with an and-one, then Morsell and Reece Beekman (Baton Rouge, La.) each added threes. Notre Dame climbed back into the game and cut UVA’s lead to 10 twice, but each time Virginia responded to hold on to the win.
THE GAME BALL GOES TO
Casey Morsell finished with a season-high 15 points, going 6-for-7 from the floor and 3-for-3 beyond the arc. He scored 10 of his points in the second half and added four rebounds.
FROM TONY BENNETT
On if was a complete effort by team:
“We drifted into some old habits defensively, that, you know, aren’t going to cut it. And that was disappointing. But yes, there was some good, solid defense in the first half, good ball movement. I was really excited to see Casey (Morsell) come back. I said to him, ‘Practice? Practice is overrated.’ I said, ‘You get another 10 day break.’ He was, I thought really good. A couple missed assignments, a lot of guys had defensively in that stretch. Poppy, Francisco (Caffaro) gave us a nice lift to with his physicality and some passing out of the post. So that was good. And then you know, obviously you saw early on Sam (Hauser) and Jay (Huff) – and then Kihei (Clark) did some things down the stretch – but early on those guys were effective that I thought was enough. But again, that part, that you said that other part, always concerns you but certainly we’ll take it.”
- UVA held Notre Dame to 10 of 30 shooting in the first half, including 1 of 11 from 3-point range
- The Cavaliers led 37-25, marking their most first-half points in ACC play
- UVA shot 50 percent or better for the fifth time (54.5%)
- Huff (two blocks) registered his eighth multi-block game of the season (35th career)
- Clark had a season-high six assists
- Morsell had a season-high 15 points (6 of 7 FGs, 3 of 3 3FGs) in his return to action after sitting out the past two games
- Morsell sank a career-best three 3-pointers
- Reece Beekman had a game-high three steals and leads the Cavaliers with 17 overall
- Francisco Caffaro tallied three points in a season-high 11 minutes off the bench
Virginia travels to No. 12 Clemson on Saturday, Jan. 16. Tip is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN at Littlejohn Coliseum.