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Hauser, Clark lift No. 13 Virginia past Georgia Tech, 64-62

ANDREW SHURTLEFF, THE DAILY PROGRESS Virginia forward Sam Hauser (10) hits a three point shot during the game against Georgia Tech Saturday in Charlottesville. Virginia won 63-58. (ANDREW SHURTLEFF, THE DAILY PROGRESS)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Sam Hauser scored 11 of his 22 points during a 15-2 second-half run and No. 13 Virginia survived a scare before rallying to beat Georgia Tech 64-62. Kihei Clark scored only two points for 10-2 Virginia, but they came on a short jumper with 1:09 left that broke a 62-all tie. Jose Alvarado scored 20 points and had eight assists and Jordan Usher scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half for the 7-4 Yellow Jackets, who had their five-game winning streak snapped. Virginia won its sixth in a row and 14th in a row in the league dating to last season. 

“Georgia Tech is a good team. They’re really good at playing with great confidence, they play fast and they’re quick. What I saw down the stretch is, I thought our on-ball defense really stepped up. Whether it was Reece (Beekman), Kihei (Clark) or Casey (Morsell) and then I thought Jay (Huff) did a heck of a job. You know, his blocks were a little different than (Moses) Wright’s but there was a lot of paddleball going on up there the way Wright was blocking our shots. Jay used his length, he came up with some big shots, stay disciplined and he stayed down,” said Virginia head coach Tony Bennett.

“I thought our individual slides really good. They ran some stuff and then they said, we’re spread and attack you. It was that kind of buckling down and saying we’re going to be hard to get by and score against, and I thought that took place and those guys in particular and Sam (Hauser) played good position defense too because you could see when they got either a little bit of momentum and transition or just a crease, boom, it was up,” Bennett said.

“Well, I mean, you can’t just wait around in a game like that, especially when you’re down. You’ve got to flip the switch and turn it on, and I felt like me and Jay (Huff) got more aggressive. Whether we were making the shot or someone else, our aggressiveness opened up a lot of things I felt like. So we definitely just stuck with it and ended up on top,” said redshirt senior Sam Hauser.

Jay Huff added, “It always typically goes back to our defense. We knew we had to get stops. We were getting what we wanted on the offensive end for the most part. They played really good defense, but I think we could get some of what we wanted. Sometimes shots weren’t falling, especially the first half, but once they started falling it was a lot easier to figure that out. And then, as usual it just comes down to getting stops.”