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Clark, Key spark No. 19 Virginia past Hokies, 65-39

Navy Virginia Basketball

Virginia guard Braxton Key (2) celebrates a basket during an NCAA college basketball game in Charlottesville, Va., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. Virginia won 65-56. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff)


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Kihei Clark scored a career-best 18 points, Braxton Key also had 18 and No. 19 Virginia dominated with defense in a 65-39 victory against Virginia Tech on Saturday.

The Cavaliers (11-2, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 30-17 by halftime and built their lead to as many as 23 in the second half. Key scored 11 in the first half and Clark had 10 after halftime.

Landers Nolley II scored 18 points for the Hokies (10-4, 1-2). He had their last 15 in the first half but did not score again until a 3-pointer with 3:49 remaining.

Kody Stattmann added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers, who won their eighth in the last 11 meetings with the Hokies.

The Hokies came in averaging 74 points, but were being outscored by Key and had only nine when coach Mike Young called a timeout with about 4 minutes left in the half.

The Hokies shot 27.1% overall (13 for 48) and became the fourth team Virginia has held under 40 points this season.


Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech boasted one of the nation’s top 3-point shooting resumes, having made 39.4% through 13 games, but struggled mightily against the Cavaliers’ defense. That was especially true for P.J. Horne, who was shooting 43.2% (19 for 44), but missed all nine of his attempts. The Hokies finished 4 for 25 from deep.

Virginia: Clark’s career high in scoring was a good sign as most of its came from inside the 3-point line on drives and at the free-throw line. Many of his turnovers in recent games came when he drove the lane and tried difficult passes. This time, he went to the basket and scored himself.


The Hokies remain on the road, playing at Syracuse on Tuesday night.

Virginia heads to Chestnut Hill to face Boston College on Tuesday night.