BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Justin Anderson and Joe Harris made consecutive 3-pointers to cap No. 14 Virginia’s rally from an 11-point, second-half deficit in a 57-53 victory over Virginia Tech on Tuesday night.
The Cavaliers (22-5, 13-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed most of the game but outscored the Hokies 23-6 after falling behind 40-29 with just more than 14 minutes remaining. It was Virginia’s 10th victory in a row and it matched the school’s best start in ACC play since the 1980-81 team was also 13-1.
Malcolm Brogdon led Virginia with 12 points and London Perrantes had 11.
The Hokies (9-16, 2-11), who ended a 10-game losing streak in their previous outing on Saturday against Miami, got 13 points each from Joey Van Zegeren and Devin Wilson. They lost their fifth in a row in the series, but not before putting a huge scare into their state rivals, who have been on a roll.
Trailing 46-42 and scoreless for 4 1/2 minutes, the Cavaliers finally broke through on Anderson’s 3-pointer with 3:26 to play. Perrantes then knocked the ball away from Van Zegeren inside, and the resulting possession ended with Harris’ 3-pointer with 2:39 left, just his second field goal of the game.
Virginia led 48-46, and after the Cavaliers defense forced Ben Emelogu into a long 3-point attempt to beat the shot clock, Anderson connected again from the same spot on the left wing, and Virginia held on.
The Hokies led 28-21 at halftime and extended their lead to 30-21 on Van Zegeren’s dunk to start the second half. Virginia then scored six in a row, pulling to 30-27 on Anthony Gill’s stick-back.
Almost before the Hokies’ fans could panic, though, Emelogu hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and as the crowd cheered, the Hokies kept it going, putting together a 10-2 run to lead 40-29.
Five points by Perrantes and 3-pointers by Harris and Brogdon highlighted a 13-3 burst that pulled the Cavaliers to 43-42. Van Zegeren’s dunk and a free throw by Emelogu gave the Hokies a 46-42 edge, setting up the exciting finish.
Virginia Tech trailed 14-13 until Emelogu’s free throw sparked a 9-0 run. Wilson had five of the points, including just his 10th 3-pointer of the season, and the Hokies opened a 22-14 lead.
They went 6:29 without a point but never lost the lead because the Cavaliers were in the midst of going 6:53 between field goals. Gill ended that with a three-point play 4:59 before halftime, and Virginia’s only basket the rest of the way was a 3-pointer by Brogdon at the halftime buzzer.