Guard’s siz­zling shoot­ing, trans­fer Key’s con­tri­bu­tions sub­due Semi­noles

Daily Press (Sunday) - - Sports - By Norm Wood Staff writer

CHAR­LOTTESVILLE — With less than nine min­utes left Satur­day against Florida State, Vir­ginia was en­dur­ing a stretch where it had mis­fired on 12 of 14 field-goal at­tempts, and De'An­dre Hunter and Ty Jerome were a com­bined 4-of-19 shoot­ing for the af­ter­noon.

Bad news for U.Va. against the No. 9-ranked team in the na­tion, right? Not with the Cava­liers squeez­ing the life out of FSU's shoot­ers and get­ting timely of­fen­sive boosts from Kyle Guy and Brax- ton Key.

De­spite the rough patch in the sec­ond half, No. 4 U.Va. still main­tained a 21point lead be­fore ul­ti­mately cruis­ing to a 65-52 vic­tory, its 11th straight in an At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence opener. Hunter and Jerome strug­gled, but Guy was as deadly shoot­ing the ball in the first half as he's been all sea­son.

“It was just go­ing to be who could im­pose their will on each other and out­last,” U.Va. coach Tony Ben­nett said re­gard­ing the mind­set against FSU, which de­feated the Cava­liers two sea­sons ago in John Paul Jones Arena and lost by four points last sea­son to the Cava­liers in Tal­la­has­see, Fla. “It's al­ways been like that against (FSU coach Leonard Hamil­ton's) teams.”

Guy had 21 points on 7-of-11 shoot­ing from the floor, in­clud­ing 5-of-6 from 3-point range. Though quiet in the sec­ond half, the guard had 18 points in the open­ing 20 min­utes and made all four of his 3-point­ers.

“He's been shoot­ing well in prac­tice,” Ben­nett said. “He's work­ing at it. … I think he is me­chan­i­cally sound, but what

he has the abil­ity to do is some­times twist or turn in the air and find it. He can get it rolling, for sure, and we needed that.”

From early in Mon­day's win against Mar­shall through the end of Satur­day's first half, Guy con­nected on a school-record 11 con­sec­u­tive 3-point­ers. U.Va.'s pre­vi­ous record for con­sec­u­tive 3-point­ers made was eight, held by four play­ers.

“You watch him play on film, and you just don't believe a guy is ca­pa­ble of be­ing that con­fi­dent,” said Hamil­ton, whose team was led by Phil Cofer's nine points. “I'm not re­ally sure I've seen many guys who seem to feel as good wher­ever he is on the floor that he's ca­pa­ble of putting it in the bas­ket, and he does.”

Guy couldn't re­call — even dur­ing his high school days in In­di­anapo­lis — mak­ing as many as 11 straight 3-point­ers in games.

“My fresh­man year (at U.Va.) I had a 16-0 run by my­self, but that wasn't all field goals,” said Guy, who scored a ca­reer-high 30 points against Mar­shall.

“When you hit a cou­ple (3point­ers) in a row, Coach Ben­nett starts to run a cou­ple plays for you, and that re­ally helps.”

Key had his most im­pact­ful game in a U.Va. uni­form. He con­trib­uted 20 points on 7-of-11 shoot­ing from the field to go along with six re­bounds off the bench.

His 12 points in the open­ing half helped U.Va. (13-0, 1-0 ACC) over­come the poor shoot­ing of Hunter and Jerome, who scored six points each in the game. For the first time all sea­son, U.Va. didn't get a suc­cess­ful 3-pointer in a game from ei­ther Hunter or Jerome, who missed a com­bined five 3-point at­tempts (four by Jerome).

“When­ever I had an open look, I tried to be more ag­gres­sive (Satur­day),” said Key, a trans­fer from Alabama whose pre­vi­ous high for U.Va. was 13 points in Novem­ber against Mid­dle Ten­nessee State.

As daz­zling as Guy was early on against FSU (12-2, 0-1), U.Va.'s de­fense rep­re­sented the big­gest dif­fer­ence-maker. U.Va. held

FSU to a sea­son-worst 34 per­cent field-goal shoot­ing.

U.Va., which shot 40.4 per­cent from the field (only 32 per­cent in the sec­ond half ), made FSU pay for its trans­gres­sions, post­ing a 21-10 ad­van­tage in points off turnovers (11-0 in the first half ). FSU com­mit­ted 15 turnovers, while U.Va. had 11.

Lead­ing 27-21 with less than 4½ min­utes left in the first half, U.Va. went on a 15-2 run to close the half. FSU missed 10 of 13 shots in the fi­nal 16 min­utes, 10 sec­onds of the half.

Key scored seven points dur­ing the run, in­clud­ing a pair of 3-point­ers. U.Va.'s lead bal­looned to 29 points in the sec­ond half.

“At the end, (FSU) might have scored a few off of our turnovers, but I think we were ac­tive,” Ben­nett said.

“At times when we're play­ing, we have some ver­sa­til­ity size­wise. … We clogged up some lanes, we showed on ball screens and got back quick.”


Vir­ginia’s Kyle Guy, who scored 21 points, drives past Florida State’s M.J. Walker dur­ing their game at John Paul Jones Arena on Satur­day.

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