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February 21, 2012

Cavs fight back, hold on for win

Mike Scott scored 20 points and Sammy Zeglinski had 13, all in the second half, and No. 25 Virginia hung on to beat Virginia Tech 61-59 on Tuesday night.

For the second game in a row, the Cavaliers (21-6, 8-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) held an opponent scoreless for more than eight minutes in the second half to rally. They did it to Maryland for 8:18 on Saturday, and to the Hokies for 8:25 - starting at the 13-minute mark.

Virginia Tech (15-13, 4-9), which came in having played three consecutive games decided by a point, led 49-44 after Erick Green's floater with 13 minutes to play.

When Robert Brown finally broke the drought with two free throws with 4:35 left, the Cavaliers had built a 56-51 lead.

Green led the Hokies with 19 points, all but two in the second half.

As the Hokies went cold, Virginia got hot behind Zeglinski. With the crowd jeering his every move, he scored seven points in a 14-0 burst, including a 3-pointer and a steal and a layup.

But the Hokies, who won 47-45 on Jan. 22 at Virginia, weren't finished.

Green made three of four free throws and Dorenzo Hudson one of two to pull the Hokies within 59-55, and they also fouled out Zeglinski and Virginia defensive specialist Jontel Evans.

Paul Jesperson, inserted into the lineup when Zeglinski fouled out, then collected a rebound and put it in for the Cavaliers, giving them a 61-55 lead with 43 seconds to play.

Green was fouled while scoring and made the free throw to make it a three-point game with 38 seconds to go. Virginia's Akil Mitchell missed the front end of a one-and-one two seconds later.

Green's floater came up short, and he made only one of two free throws with 26 seconds to go, but the Hokies again fouled Mitchell, and he again missed the front end of a one-and-one.

Cadarian Raines gathered in the rebound in a pile, and the Hokies called a timeout.

With 17.6 seconds left, they were working the ball around for a good shot when Malcolm Brogdon got his arm on a pass and stole it. He missed the free throw with 1.9 seconds to go, but Hudson's desperate heave after getting the rebound was off.

Evans also scored 13 for Virginia while Hudson had nine for the Hokies.

Scott, who scored an ACC career-best 25 points in Virginia's victory against Maryland on Saturday, has had to assume an even greater role in the Cavaliers' offense since starting swingman Joe Harris broke a bone in his left hand more than a week ago.

Harris has continued to play, but with heavy padding on his non-shooting hand that hampers his shot.

Early, both teams shot well.

The Hokies used a 16-6 run that featured four 3-pointers to open a 29-21 lead. Marquis Rankin hit twice from long range and Dorian Finney-Smith and Hudson also connected. The Hokies made six of their first eight from behind the arc, matching their season average for 3-pointers.

Virginia shot 68.4 percent in the half, led by Scott's 7 for 10, and trailed 35-32 at halftime. The Cavaliers made only two 3-pointers, the second by Scott, who had 15 at the half.


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