Jay Huff helps No. 18 Virginia defeat Notre Dame

Jay Huff matched his career high with 18 points for the second straight game and led No. 18 Virginia to an 80-68 victory over Notre Dame in an Atlantic Coast Conference contest on Wednesday in Charlottesville, Va.

It was the fourth straight win for the Cavaliers (8-2, 4-0 ACC), who improved to 5-0 at home and won their 12th consecutive conference contest stretching back to last season.

Sam Hauser just missed his fourth straight double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds for Virginia. Casey Morsell tallied 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting, Kihei Clark had 12 points and six assists and Trey Murphy III added 10 points.

Cormac Ryan scored 16 points to lead the Fighting Irish (3-8, 0-5), who are on a four-game losing streak. Notre Dame has lost 27 straight games against Top 25 opponents, including an 0-6 mark this season.

Notre Dame also got 13 points from Trey Wertz, 12 from Nate Laszewski and 10 from Juwan Durham.

The Cavaliers shot 54.4 percent from the field and 50 percent (12 of 24) from 3-point distance. The Fighting Irish made 19 of 20 free throws but only shot 22.7 percent (5 of 22) from downtown and 43.1 percent overall.

Virginia was up by 12 at halftime and inflated its lead to 57-33 with an 11-0 run, capped by Morsell’s jumper with 12:22 remaining.

Notre Dame fought back to within 66-56 with a 15-5 run, capped by a 3-pointer and three-point play by Ryan on consecutive possessions.

A 7-0 spurt by Virginia effectively ended the threat, pushing the lead back to 75-58 with under three minutes to play.

Virginia improved to 16-2 in the all-time series with Notre Dame, including 11-0 in ACC regular-season play. The Cavaliers won the first meeting this season 66-57 on Dec. 30 in South Bend, Ind.

The Cavaliers led 37-25 at halftime behind 13 points from Hauser and 12 from Huff. Virginia led by as many as 15 points (33-18). The Irish got 10 first-half points from Durham and held their only lead at 6-5.

Three-point shooting was the story in the first half. Virginia made 7 of 14 attempts from behind the arc (four by Huff), while Notre Dame missed its first 10 long-range attempts and finished 1 of 13 in the half.

Blogs