By: Darrell Owens
Headline Photo Credit: Darrell Owens- LMS Network
For the first time ever the Virginia Cavaliers and the Virginia Tech Hokies faced each other both being ranked in the top 10 in the country. The Cavaliers came in sporting a 15-0 record being only one of two (Michigan 17-0) undefeated teams left in the country. UVA’s first three ACC matchups (Florida State, Boston College & Clemson) have been all Cavs, accumulating a 3-0 record and outscoring their opponents 211-151. Kyle Guy has lead the Cavaliers this season in scoring with 15.3 points per game and has been the driving force to UVA run this year. Their bitter in-state rival, Virginia Tech (14-1) are having one of their best seasons in school history. The only loss this season was to Penn State by one point and have won nine straight since that defeat. Sophomore Nickeil Alexander-Walker from Toronto, Canada has been the leader for the Hokies averaging 17.8 points per game and shooting 42% from three-point land. Last year these two teams split their 2 games, UVA winning in Blacksburg 78-52 and the Hokies won a nail biter 61-60 in Charlottesville. Well, a new season and a rivalry renew and in Game 1 Virginia would not disappoint!
Future NBA 1st round pick DeAndre Hunter led the Cavs to their 16th victory of the season as they would dominate the Hokies from beginning to end winning 81-59. Hunter led all scorers with 21 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Kyle Guy scored 15 points and Ty Jerome scored 14 points and dished out 12 assists for Virginia. Kihei Clark came off the bench with a spark for Virginia with 9 points all from three-point land.
Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker led the Hokies with 19 points. Ahmad Hill would drop 14 points for the Hokies in a losing effort. Virginia Tech’s first-half struggles doomed them from the beginning. The Hokies shot 35% from the field going 7-for-20 in the first half. Virginia Tech shot better in the second half (12-for-24 50%)but it wasn’t enough to slow down Virginia.
This Virginia Cavaliers Team is different. On any night, any player can have a big game for the Cavs. Virginia goes 8 deep with the lineup. If seem that they have a different person step up in a big way to contribute every game. Tonight that person was Kihei Clark with his 9 points off the bench. Clark is a young player for the Cavs that doesn’t make bad decisions. He is a facilitator first and a scorer second. His play will be big for UVA for years to come. This victory tonight gives UVA full control of the ACC.
#4 Virginia (16-0) Jan 19 @ #1 Duke
#9 Virginia Tech (14-2) Jan 19 vs Wake Forest