No. 11 Virginia men’s basketball opens season with a win at Syracuse

Kihei Clark (Photo by Matt Riley/UVA athletics)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (VirginiaSports.com) – Virginia (1-0, 1-0 ACC) improved to 11-0 in season-openers under head coach Tony Bennett with a 48-34 win at Syracuse on Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome.

Jay Huff (Durham, N.C.) and Kihei Clark (Woodland Hills, Calif.) each finished with double-doubles to lead the Cavaliers. Huff had 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Clark finished with 10 points, a career-best 11 boards and added seven assists. Mamadi Diakite (Conakry, Guinea, Africa) led UVA with 12 points and added six rebounds and two blocks. Braxton Key (Charlotte, N.C.) had seven points and 10 rebounds.

Virginia shot 40 percent from the field, while holding Syracuse to 23 percent shooting. UVA led in rebounds (47-28), assists (14-7) and points in the pain (26-16).

It took almost two minutes before Syracuse scored the first points of the game. Key hit a layup to put UVA on the board. The Cavaliers scored 13-straight points to lead the Orange 13-2 with 9:28 to go in the first half. Virginia held Syracuse scoreless for 8:56 during that span. UVA took a 25-19 lead into the half. Huff had a dunk with the assist from Clark to begin the second half. Virginia took a 35-24 lead after an and-one from Key. The Cavaliers continued to control the game, holding Syracuse to 15 points in the second half.

Clark had his first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, while adding seven assists.

Up next, Virginia hosts JMU in its home opener on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.

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