CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Sam Hauser (Stevens Point, Wis.) scored a season-high 23 points to lead No. 14 Virginia to a 73-66 win over Pitt in ACC action Saturday (Feb. 6) at John Paul Jones Arena.
Tomas Woldetensae (Bologna, Italy) added 14 points, including four 3-pointers, as Virginia improved to 13-3 overall and an ACC-leading 9-1. Jay Huff (Durham, N.C.) chipped in 13 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks, while Kihei Clark (Woodland Hills, Calif.) added 11 points and a game-high eight assists.
Virginia shot 53.2 percent from the floor and 50 percent (12 of 24) from 3-point range. Pitt (9-6, 5-5 ACC) was led by Justin Champagnie’s 18 points and game-high 10 rebounds. The Panthers outrebounded the Cavaliers 33-27 and dominated the paint with 42 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
UVA went on a 16-0 second-half run to gain a 51-36 lead. The run was highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Huff and two more from Hauser. Pitt answered with a 7-0 run, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Woldetensae gave Virginia a 14-point lead at 57-43. UVA led 62-47, but Pitt answered with a 10-2 run to cut the margin to 64-57 before a layup from Reece Beekman (Baton Rouge, La.) and 7 of 8 effort from the free throw line closed out the win.
UVA overcame a slow start, trailing Pitt 7-0 before Hauser’s 3-pointer at 16:11 put the Cavaliers on the board. Beekman’s 3-pointer gave the Cavaliers their first lead at 16-15. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Woldetensae and a Murphy III slam dunk gave Virginia a 30-27 halftime lead. Hauser had a team-high nine points in the opening stanza.
THE GAME BALL GOES TO
Hauser scored 23 points, marking his third 20-point effort in the past five games. Hauser was 8 of 9 from the field and 3 of 4 from 3-point range en route to his season-high effort.
TONY BENNETT ON SAM HAUSER
“He was really good, and he opened up the game for us just enough. We struggled; we really did when they turned up the heat. (We) made some poor decisions offensively some breakdowns defensively so that was frustrating but because we had stretched it enough, it was good. I thought Sam was really good. He actually guarded well and offensively when you look at his stat line I mean that’s eight and nine (field goals) three or four (3 pointers) did the job. He was the difference maker for us. There were stretches of good ball but it I just didn’t like how I thought unsound we were and yielded, that is kind of the word we’ve been using, to make that closer after we had built that lead. Also credit to Pittsburgh’s scrap and their ability to put pressure on the rim but we hung in there and certainly grateful for the victory.”
• The Cavaliers improved to 9-1 when scoring 70 or more points
• UVA shot 50 percent or better from the floor for the seventh time (7-0)
• The Cavaliers improved to 8-0 at home, including 5-0 in league play
• UVA has won six straight contests vs. the Panthers and is 10-1 against Pitt since 2013-14 when the Panthers joined the ACC
• Woldetensae matched a season-high with four 3-pointers
• Huff (two blocks) recorded his 11th multi-block game (38th career)
• No. 14 Virginia travels to Georgia Tech on Wednesday, Feb. 10. Tipoff at McCamish Pavilion is set for 7 p.m. on Regional Sports Networks and Virginia Sports Radio Network.