Associated Press

Kihei Clark's late three carries Virginia past Virginia Tech for 5th straight win

Kihei Clark's late three carries Virginia past Virginia Tech for 5th straight win

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Kihei Clark knew exactly what he was going to do when he took an inbounds pass in a tie game on the road and 11 seconds racing quickly off the clock.

"Yeah. I was shooting it," the sophomore point guard said after his 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left lifted Virginia to a 56-53 victory at Virginia Tech on Wednesday night, saving them after they blew a big halftime lead.

"I probably just used the ball screen and I kind of figured they thought I was going to be driving so I crossed back and I created some space," he said.

And gave the reigning national champions another nail-biter win. It extended their winning streak to five, four of them decided by three points or fewer.

"We're giving a lot of people a heart attack," forward Braxton Key said. "We're learning. We're a young team. We're starting to grow up though. We're learning how to win."

Clark's lone 3-pointer rescued Virginia (20-7, 12-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), which led 26-11 at halftime before the Hokies started making shots they'd been missing. They twice took the lead in the final five minutes, and Tyrece Radford's slicing drive for a layup with 11 seconds left tied things at 53.

"We were doing the exact same things in the second half that we were doing in the the first half," first-year coach Mike Young said. "The only difference was that they were being a little bit more aggressive and shots were falling."

The Cavaliers (20-7, 12-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) solidified their hold on fourth place in the conference standings and won their fourth straight in the series. The Hokies (15-13, 6-11) lost for the eighth time in nine games, and Young said he's not as concerned with his team's psyche as winning games.

"We don't get into feelings around here," he said.

Mamadi Diakite led Virginia with 19 points, Key had 10 with 11 rebounds and Clark had seven points, six rebounds and six assists.

Landers Nolley led the Hokies with 13 points.

Virginia Tech came back after setting a program record since joining the ACC in 2004 with just 11 first-half points to trail 26-11. Their comeback began immediately after halftime as they hit 6 of 7 shots, including all three 3-pointers, then used an 11-2 run to get within 40-37 on P.J. Horne's 3-pointer.

They pulled even at 44 on two free throws by Nolley, went ahead on Hunter Cattoor's 3-pointer with 4:49 left and it was back and forth to the finish. After two free throws by Nolley gave the Hokies a 51-48 lead with 3:31 left, Clark scored inside and Casey Morsell hit a 3-pointer for Virginia to lead 53-51.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers lead the nation is scoring defense (52.7) and have done much of their best work against the Hokies. They held Virginia Tech to just 17 first-half points in their first meeting, a 65-39 victory, tying a Hokies' first-half futility record since they joined the ACC in 2004. Virginia Tech has managed just 17 three times, twice against Virginia (2014, 2020) and once against Temple (2009). The earlier game this year also marked Virginia Tech's lowest scoring total since a 43-33 loss to East Carolina in 1967.

Virginia Tech: Hokies scoring leader Landers Nolley (16.7 ppg) was not in the starting lineup for just the second time this season. He came into the game 8 for 44 from the field (18%) over his last three games and 2 for 17 (11%) from 3-point territory. He finished 3 for 10 overall and 1 for 5 on 3-pointers.

UP NEXT

The Cavaliers return home to face No. 7 Duke on Saturday night.

The Hokies head out on the road to play at No. 11 Louisville on Sunday. 

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Marquette thrashes Georgetown behind Markus Howard's 30 points

Marquette thrashes Georgetown behind Markus Howard's 30 points

MILWAUKEE -- Markus Howard, the nation's leading scorer, poured in 30 points as Marquette romped past Georgetown 93-72 on Wednesday night.

Howard, who came in averaging 27.1 points per game, was 10-of-16 shooting and made half of his 10 3-point attempts. Sacar Anim had 15 points for Marquette (18-9, 8-7 Big East Conference) as did Jamal Cain. Brendan Bailey had 10 points while Jayce Johnson grabbed 11 rebounds to go with nine points. Howard's first 3-pointer of the game gave him 2,636 points to pass Stephen Curry (2,635) and enter the NCAA's top 30 career scoring list.

Jagan Mosely had 19 points and six rebounds for the Hoyas (15-13, 5-10). Jahvon Blair added 18 points. Jamorko Pickett had 12 points.

The Golden Eagles improve to 2-0 against the Hoyas on the season. Marquette defeated Georgetown 84-80 on Jan. 18.

Marquette matches up against Seton Hall at home on Saturday. Georgetown takes on Xavier at home on Sunday.

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Darryl Morsell's game-winner caps Maryland's 16-point comeback against Minnesota

Darryl Morsell's game-winner caps Maryland's 16-point comeback against Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS -- Darryl Morsell drained the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left for No. 9 Maryland, capping a comeback from a 16-point halftime deficit to beat Minnesota 74-73 on Wednesday night.

Jalen Smith had 16 points and 12 rebounds, including a soaring rebound and slam with 14.5 seconds remaining that pulled the Terrapins within 73-71. Gabe Kalscheur short-armed the front end of a one-and-one free throw with 12 seconds to go for the Gophers, who missed three foul shots in the final 39 seconds. Then the Terrapins hustled the ball up to find Morsell, who had 13 points and nine rebounds, for the winner from NBA range.

Aaron Wiggins scored 16 points and Anthony Cowan Jr. had 10 points, nine assists and six rebounds for Maryland (23-5, 13-4), which maintained a two-game lead for first place in the Big Ten with three games to go.

Daniel Oturu had 28 points and 11 rebounds and Marcus Carr added 19 points and seven assists for Minnesota (13-14, 7-10), which saw its NCAA Tournament hope all but disappear with a third straight excruciating home defeat.

The Terrapins missed seven of eight shots in the closing stretch, until Smith's dunk. Missing 12 of their first 13 tries from 3-point range, they trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half and still by 16 points with 15:55 to go on Kalscheur's 3-pointer that made it 54-38.

The Gophers, who faltered late in their last two home contests against Iowa and Indiana by, let another opponent climb back in the game with a shooting dropoff and some unforced turnovers. Wiggins intercepted a cross-court pass by Carr and went the other way for a one-handed slam, bringing Maryland within 66-62. That was the closest the Terrapins had been since 6-4.

Oturu made two free throws to push the lead back to 72-64 with 2:06 left, but Wiggins answered with a 3-pointer. Kalscheur fouled Cowan, who made two foul shots to bring Maryland within 72-69 with 45 seconds to go, and a backcourt turnover by Minnesota under heavy pressure gave the Terrapins the chance to tie.

Smith's 3-pointer clanged off the rim, and Kalscheur grabbed the rebound. He made one of two free throws and blocked Cowan's shot on the other end with 29 seconds left, seemingly putting the Gophers in safe mode.

STRONG START

Entering the game with the worst field-goal percentage in Big Ten play -- and second-worst from 3-point range -- the Gophers had their outside shooting in a groove from the opening tip. Carr swished a 3-pointer on the opening possession, and off they went from there.

Ihnen, a lanky freshman from Germany who has worked his way into significant playing time lately, made his first three 3-point attempts, the last of which, from the wing, put Minnesota up 21-8.

After Maryland missed three times at the rim, Carr went the other way on the fast break and found Jarvis Omersa for an alley-oop that ignited the crowd, gave Minnesota a 23-12 lead and put Carr in a tie with Arrriel McDonald for the program's all-time single-season assist mark. Carr made the record his own a little later, with 182.

The Terrapins, meanwhile, were all out of sorts. Coach Mark Turgeon was whistled for a technical less than four minutes in for arguing Smith's second foul. Cowan was teed up, too, after he made a layup, crash-landed against the stanchion under the basket and kicked in frustration at a cameraman after his feet were tangled in the cord.

COWAN STREAK

Cowan, the senior point guard who has developed into one of the best players in the country, started his 127th consecutive game to set the all-time program record. He passed Keith Booth (1993-97).

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: Cowan had his second consecutive quiet game, going just 2 for 15 from the floor to fall to 3 for 19 over his last two contests. Wiggins, the sophomore shooting guard, came through again off the bench. He had 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting at Ohio State on Sunday.

Minnesota: After being outscored 11-0 over the final 5 1/2 minutes in a 58-55 loss to Iowa, blowing a 10-point first-half lead in a 68-56 loss to Indiana and now this, the Gophers have not only spoiled their season but put the future of coach Richard Pitino in question. They've made the NCAA Tournament twice in his first six seasons.

UP NEXT

Maryland: Hosts No. 24 Michigan State on Saturday night. The Terrapins beat the Spartans 67-60 on the road on Feb. 15. Maryland is 15-0 at home. The last time the team went undefeated at home was the 2001-02 season, when the Terps won the national championship.

Minnesota: Plays at Wisconsin on Sunday evening. The Gophers beat the Badgers 70-52 at home on Feb. 5. They're 2-8 on the road this season.

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