De’Andre Hunter scored 21 points and Ty Jerome had 14 and a career-high 12 assists as No. 4 Virginia started fast and routed No. 9 Virginia Tech 81-59 on Tuesday night.
Kyle Guy added 15 points for the Cavaliers (16-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who never trailed in the first meeting of the programs in which both were ranked in the top 10. Virginia also remained one of two unbeaten teams in the country along with Michigan, which was idle.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 19 points and Ahmed Hill 14 to lead Virginia Tech (14-2, 3-1), which was seeking the first 15-1 start in program history. The Hokies also hoped to repeat last year’s 61-60 overtime victory at John Paul Jones Arena, but they trailed by double figures after 12 minutes and never got within single digits the rest of the way.
Virginia could hardly miss in the first half, making 10 of 14 3-point tries, including one by Kihei Clark at the buzzer to make it 44-22. The Hokies, meanwhile, were just 2 for 9 from deep and shot 35 percent (7-for-20) from the field compared to 68 percent (17-for-25) for the Cavaliers in the half.
Virginia finished 13 for 23 from 3-point range and shot 58.5 percent overall (31-for-53).
Virginia Tech: The Hokies arrived in fourth place nationally having made 42.3 percent from 3-point territory and finished 7 for 21 for the game. Virginia Tech also has improved defensively, but the Cavaliers showed them they still have plenty to work on at the end.
Virginia: More than anyone else, Jerome sets the pulse for Virginia when he’s playing well because of his fire and toughness. His first basket was a 3-pointer from well beyond the 3-point arc and his first half was near perfect. He hit four 3-pointers and had seven assists, giving him a hand in 11 of 17 baskets in the half. His 12 assists eclipsed his previous best by three (Louisville, Jan. 31, 2018).
Virginia Tech: At home against Wake Forest on Saturday.
Virginia: At top-ranked Duke on Saturday.