Charlottesville, Va. – Mamadi Diakite scored 15 points and Jay Huff had 13 as No. 7 Virginia beat Maine 46-26 on Wednesday night.
The Cavaliers (7-0) played without starting guard Braxton Key, their second-leading scorer and top rebounder, after the school said he had wrist surgery and will be sidelined indefinitely. They also were without Kody Stattmann, another starter, who missed his fourth consecutive game with an undisclosed illness.
Maine (2-4) kept it close for much of the game, more because Virginia had trouble scoring than anything else.
Vilgot Larsson led the Black Bears with nine points. They finished 8 for 43 from the field (18.6%) and had 21 turnovers that led to 20 Cavaliers points.
Virginia held Maine scoreless for nearly six minutes and used a 9-0 run to open a 24-10 lead late in the first half. It was 24-14 at the break, and eight consecutive points early in the second half opened the margin to 35-19 as coach Tony Bennett went deeper into his bench seeking combinations the Cavaliers will need going forward.
The Cavaliers have now held six of seven opponents this season under 50 points.
Maine: In his second season as coach, Richard Barron has an exceedingly young team and an ambitious opening schedule that has already included Washington and takes the Black Bears to UConn on Sunday. Ten players on the roster are freshmen, redshirt freshmen or redshirt sophomores.
Virginia: After scoring 19 points against Arizona State in the championship game of the Air Force Reserve Tip-off Tournament and seeming ready to give Virginia’s struggling offense a lift, freshman Casey Morsell went cold again at John Paul Jones Arena, finishing 1 of 8 from the field.
Maine plays at UConn on Sunday.
Virginia goes on the road and faces Purdue in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, a rematch of last year’s epic Elite Eight overtime game that the Cavaliers won en route to the national title.