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No. 16 UVA moves to 10-2 with win over Navy

Braxton Key led the Cavaliers with 15 points

No. 16 Virginia defeats Navy
No. 16 Virginia defeats Navy

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.Team Notes

• UVA (10-2) tied a season high with 65 points

• UVA gained a 50-41 lead with a 12-0 run

• Navy outscored UVA 12-3 over the first 10:51 of the second half

• UVA’s 37 first-half points marked a season high in the opening 20 minutes

• UVA went 8 of 9 from the field to start the game

• UVA forced two shot clock violations (13 in 2019-20)

• UVA tied a season high with eight 3-pointers and its 42.1% percentage (8 of 19) from 3-point land marked a season best

Series Notes

• Virginia is 15-31 all-time against Navy, including a 7-1 mark in Charlottesville, in the series that dates back to the 1909-10 season.

• The Cavaliers have an eight-game winning streak against the Midshipmen

Player Notes

• Double-figure scorers: Braxton Key (15), Mamadi Diakite (13), Kihei Clark (10)

• Clark tallied his second career double-double with 10 points and career-high 13 assists

• Key tied a season high with three steals

• Jay Huff had a game-high four blocked shots

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the game and key second half run:

“Well, I thought we got off to a good start and defensively, it was a bit spotty to be honest. Credit to Navy, [Cam Davis] has got a shot where he puts it behind his head and you can't get to it. At times we were a little slow to the shooters and there were some breakdowns there but they hit a pretty tough three to end the half. [Evan Wieck] kind of went to work in the post to start [the second half], some turnovers and then the zone sort of tightened us up. Then we made some substitutions and I thought that group did a good job. Jay blocked some shots, Kihei’s stat line, you look at 13 assists, but we got some buckets in transition. We needed those because our man-to-man offense was pretty solid but once they went to that zone we were having a hard time, even with some good looks, making them. Some key stops, blocks and I think the transition points that came from that run helped us.”

On fighting through the scoring drought to start the second half:

“You try to hang your hat on the defense, you say 'alright ,let's get stops' but we try to go inside but I think you have to take a quality shot when it presents itself because when we went inside that's where they ran some traps at us and we turned it over. We had a couple uncharacteristic things... It's some of the inexperience showing, you want to be assertive you want to look, you'd like to penetrate, you'd like to get aggressive stuff and you just feel a little of that uneasiness which is part again of inexperience some of those turnovers cost us. So, I don't think you can say 'we just go inside', a lot of times that is what you try to do, get a touch. We had a couple buckets off a little action we run that helped us and it was enough with the transition buckets and them missing a few shots.”

On Braxton Key’s importance and presence:

“Yeah, as he's healthy and he's probably our best rebounder and most physical player, and again he knows how to help defense and has the most experience. He, Mamadi and Kihei have the most experience, so without him we were trying to find it. But seeing him emerge and play, he's steadily gotten more time and played better and we needed it. I just keep challenging him to be as great as he can defensively, all over the glass and then keep finding ways to be effective offensively and he did that. So, it definitely steadies us as much as we can be steadied at times.”

Virginia Sophomore Guard Kihei Clark

On what is said during huddles and timeouts to snap out of a scoring drought:

“I think we’re getting shots, we just need to make them and keep taking open shots. I think it’s partly taking care of the ball because we don’t even get a shot up sometimes. We just need to take care of the ball and keep taking open shots.”

On this being a bounce back game:“I felt good. This was a good game for me to get a good assist-to-turnover ratio. I thought I did a better job of taking care of the ball and my teammates were knocking down shots which made it easy to get assists.”

Virginia Senior Forward Jay Huff

On Braxton converting a block to an and-one:

“I think it was a spark. Braxton had a couple plays today that were just amazing. I’ve never seen him do anything like that put back dunk before. He did a lot for us today.”

On where the team is heading into ACC play:

“I think there are a lot of things we can always improve on but at the same time, I think we are where we need to be in terms of coming together and knowing what we need to do. I think today was a good example of that. We put a lot of stuff together and we need to make sure we keep that up. There were times in the huddle where, rather than pointing fingers and asking what happened, we knew what we did and in the second half we tightened it up.”

Virginia Senior Guard Braxton Key

On his tip-in dunk in the first half:

“Coach has challenged me to crash the glass. I did it a lot last year. I have kind of settled outside since I broke my wrist, but I mean, I just went up there and I thought I could make a play and I did. I did not think I was going to finish it, but I just thought, I do not even know. I have got to see the replay and then go from there.”

On his injured hand’s recovery:

“I feel great. I have had a couple of good practices the past couple of days. I am just trying to keep practicing with my left hand, left-hand layups and dribbling with my left, just trying to get more comfortable. I thought I had, like I said, a good couple of practices, and coaches have been confident with me and the team has been confident with me. It comes with time, it is unfortunate, but I mean, I like where I am going and where the team is going.”

Navy Head Coach Ed DeChellis

Opening statement:

“I think our kids really competed, we played hard. We got up one, 41-40, then they went on a 12-0 [run] because of our shot selection, trying to put 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5-pound sack, we were just trying to jam it in there, they were batting it down, and then they start their transition game and that’s how they got us and that’s a credit to them. I thought defensively we were solid in the half-court, and with our zone, and our man back and forth. They are an outstanding defensive team, Tony [Bennett] does a great job. We struggled to score like a lot of teams struggle to score, but I thought we manufactured some points and scored not enough to win the game but to keep us close, to see what we could do. You know it was a 6 to 8-point game with five minutes to go, I would’ve taken that. They made more threes than they have been, credit to them. They made baskets when they had to, that big one at the shot clock late in the game was huge. They made threes, again that’s a credit for them.”

On what is to be gained from playing a team like Virginia:

“I think it’s good for us. The environment was great. I was really glad that we got to play in such a tremendous environment because we’re hoping to play in an environment like this, hopefully in the Patriot League championship. Now you can always refer back and say we did this and we were there. Thank Tony [Bennett] and the administration for letting us play. It’s an easy 3-hour drive from Annapolis to here. The way they defend and the environment and their size and aggression caused us to have to struggle and compete so I think that helps us heading into Thursday.”