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#20 Va. Tech rallies in 2nd half, beats #8 Virginia

Keve Aluma hit 10 of 15 shots from the floor, including two 3-pointers to help the Hokies rally from a 10-point deficit in the second half.
Credit: AP
Virginia Tech's Hunter Cattoor (0) and Keve Aluma (22) celebrate a score against Virginia during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP, Pool)

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Keve Aluma scored a career-high 29 points to lead No. 20 Virginia Tech to a 65-51 win over No. 8 Virginia on Saturday night.

Aluma hit 10 of 15 shots from the floor, including two 3-pointers to help the Hokies (13-3, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) rally from a 10-point deficit in the second half. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak to the rival Cavaliers.

Jay Huff paced Virginia (11-3, 7-1) with 13 points. The Cavaliers saw their seven-game winning streak and 15-game ACC winning streak halted.

The Hokies trailed by 10 early in the second half, and outscored Virginia 21-4 to end the game. That outburst included a 19-0 run in which Aluma scored seven points and Hunter Cattoor hit two 3-pointers.

Cattoor finished with 15 points for Virginia Tech, which became the third team to shoot at least 50% percent against the Cavaliers this season (22 of 44).

Kihei Clark scored 11 points for the Cavaliers, who made just one shot from the floor in the final 8:25.

Virginia: The Cavaliers suffered an uncharacteristically poor performance defensively, particularly in the second half when they allowed Virginia Tech to shoot 61% (14 of 23). Virginia was particularly vulnerable in the post, using four post players on Aluma at various points, with no success. The Cavaliers’ post players will need to be stronger and tougher, or else teams will continue to expose them going forward.

Virginia Tech: In contrast to the Cavaliers, the Hokies were outstanding on defense, holding the ACC’s best shooting team — 50.4% coming into the game — to just 37% (19 of 52). They also held Virginia to its lowest point total of the season. The Hokies picked up their fourth win over a ranked team this season and continue to position themselves for a high seeding come tournament time in March.