For Virginia fans, it feels great to finally knock off Georgia Tech. Not only did the Yellow Jackets embarrass the Cavaliers in football, 56-20, earlier this year, they also beat Virginia in basketball by a margin of 6 points earlier this month. The Cavaliers were able to avenge that 6-point loss today in a game that was essentially a must-win for Virginia’s chances of making the NCAA tournament. After a couple tough road losses against UNC and Miami, John Paul Jones arena was packed with students welcoming home their Wahoos. The team did not disappoint, returning to their tough defensive play and even putting together a couple exciting offensive stretches capped off by throw down dunks.
Georgia Tech started by taking an early 7-2 lead, but back-to-back three pointers by Paul Jesperson and Justin Anderson gave UVA the lead and they continued on a 12-0 run. Anderson led the Cavaliers with 9 first half points as UVA led Georgia Tech 41-29 at the half. The Wahoos continued their dominance in the second half by dominating the turnover ration 16-5. The team was able to capitalize on the forced turnovers by pushing into transition, something uncharacteristic of this half-court team, but it seemed to work. Although the Cavaliers looked good, this was a dangerous game on the schedule because everyone is looking forward to the huge matchup against Duke later this week. It was important that Virginia did not let the Duke game affect their focus on beating the Yellow Jackets because a loss today would have been devastating for their NCAA hopes.
Virginia is looking like they are back to the team that was atop the ACC earlier this year, which is encouraging going into probably their toughest game of the year against Duke. Tune into Fansided on Thursday for coverage of the Cavaliers taking on the Blue Devils at John Paul Jones Arena!