RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Braxton Key scored 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds, but it was the big guys, Jay Huff and Mamadi Diakite, that caught the eye of Virginia coach Tony Bennett after the Cavaliers’ 51-44 win over Clemson on Wednesday.
Huff had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Tigers, while Diakite chipped in 13 points and eight boards.
“Their length is real,” Bennett said. “I thought that this was one of their better defensive rebounding games. And that’s big. And then, again, sometimes guys can beat you and as long as we can do without fouling, if they can rim protect, that just adds another thing to our defense. Because I thought our defense was close to a complete game and that was important. That’s how we had to win this one.”
It was the eighth straight UVA game decided by eight points or less, almost routine now for Huff.
“How many times have we been in that position? I think we’re almost used to it by now. We almost expect it. If a team doesn’t come back, we’re like, something wrong here? I know every time I go to church or anything like that, someone will come up to me and say, ‘You’re making my blood pressure rise a little bit.’ I don’t know, we just like to make it entertaining.”
Virginia is at Louisville on Saturday at 4 p.m.