Murphy, Clark lead No. 9 Virginia past Georgia Tech 57-49

ATLANTA (AP) Trey Murphy III scored 18 points, Kihei Clark added 14 and No. 9 Virginia pulled away from Georgia Tech down the stretch for a 57-49 victory on Wednesday night.

The Cavaliers (14-3, 10-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) finished on a 16-5 run in a game that was tight most of the way.

Georgia Tech (9-7, 5-5) lost to Virginia for the second time this season and missed a chance to give its postseason resume a big boost.

The Yellow Jackets led 44-41 with 6:18 remaining after Jose Alvarado hit a jumper, but the Cavaliers dominated the rest of the way.

Clark and Murphy keyed the closing run with big 3-pointers. Virginia missing only one of its final nine shots from the field.

Alvarado scored 18 points, but Georgia Tech was held to just 36% from the field on 18-of-50 shooting. The Yellow Jackets were 4 of 21 from 3-point range.

In the teams’ first meeting on Jan. 23, Georgia Tech squandered an 11-point lead and missed a chance to win at the buzzer with a 3 as Virginia held on for a 64-62 victory.

The final minutes were a striking change from the close of the first half. Virginia was 1 of 8 from the field in the final 5 1/2 minutes and trailed 26-20 at the break.

Georgia Tech made things extremely tough, blocking a couple of shots in close and coming up with a steal on the perimeter.

The Yellow Jackets, meanwhile, picked up with a couple of easy baskets on a night when those sort of opportunities were hard to come by.

After Jordan Usher dunked off a nifty pass from Moses Wright, Georgia Tech was able to run again when Alvarado came up with a steal at the defensive end.

Alvarado passed ahead to Michael Devoe, who flipped a no-look pass to a trailing Wright for another slam.

With the clock about to run out, it looked as though Georgia Tech would finish with yet another slam. Wright went up for the dunk, but Jay Huff stuffed him to send the Cavaliers to the locker room with a bit of momentum.

That carried over the second half. Virginia began on a 9-0 run.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers continued their domination in the series, winning for the 16th time in the last 18 meetings. As always, they turned to their defense to stifle a team that was eager for an upset.

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets desperately needed a win to improve their chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. They’re going to need a big finish to end that drought.

UP NEXT

Virginia: Host North Carolina on Saturday.

Georgia Tech: Will travel to Clemson on Friday night, a game that was moved up a day so the Yellow Jackets can squeeze in the make-up of a postponed contest against Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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