UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Braxton Key scored 16 points and No. 7 Virginia used its stifling defense to hand UMass its first loss of the season, 58-46, on Saturday in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.
Kihei Clark added 14 points and Jay Huff chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers (5-0), who limited the Minutemen to just 15 baskets and 30% shooting.
Carl Pierre had 14 points and T.J. Weeks added 12 for Massachusetts (5-1).
Virginia led by five points at the half and by three points after a short jumper from Pierre to open the second half.
But the Cavaliers held UMass to four points over the next 14 minutes. A dunk by Mamadi Diakite on a lob from Clark highlighted the run that put Virginia in control at 49-33.
Key had Virginia’s first two baskets and 11 of his points in the first half and closed the scoring with a breakaway dunk.
UMass tried to speed up the pace, opening the game with a trapping press. But the Minutemen hit just three of their first 14 shots.
Diakite, who came in averaging just under 16 points a game, scored only four points in 21 minutes. He played three minutes in the first half, picking up his second foul 8½ minutes into the game and didn’t score his first basket until eight minutes into the second half.
But 7-foot-1 Huff picked up the slack. He hit four of his first seven shots.
The Cavaliers’ defense held UMass without a field goal for six minutes in the opening half and led 29-13 after a 3-pointer from Casey Morsell.
But UMass scored 11 straight points to close the half, part of a 13-0 run. Tre Mitchell’s third straight layup cut the deficit to 29-24 at halftime.
UMass: The Minutemen had scored at least 80 points in the past three games and came in averaging 78.4 points per game.
Virginia: The Cavaliers have won the past six November tournaments they entered and are 137-36 in nonconference games under coach Tony Bennett.
UMass: The Minutemen will play the loser of Saturday’s game between Arizona State and St. John’s in Sunday’s third-place game.
Virginia: The Cavaliers will play for the championship on Sunday against the Arizona State-St. John’s winner.
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