EditorsNote: adds “in the shot-clock era” in third graf
Mamadi Diakite scored 15 points, and No. 7 Virginia dominated defensively in a wire-to-wire, 46-26 victory against Maine on Wednesday afternoon in Charlottesville, Va.
The Cavaliers (7-0) pushed their nonconference home winning streak to 21 games and improved to 26-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 40 points under head coach Tony Bennett.
Jay Huff added 13 points and Kihei Clark tallied nine points, five assists and three steals for the defending national champions, who matched a school record for the fewest points allowed in the shot-clock era (2014 vs. Rutgers).
Maine trailed 27-19 after a 3-pointer by Nedeljko Prijovic with 16:51 left, but it was the last time the Black Bears got within single digits.
Vilgot Larsson scored nine points to lead the Black Bears (2-4), who shot 18.6 percent (8 of 43) from the field and 19.2 percent (5 of 26) from 3-point range. They committed 21 turnovers, which led to 20 points for the Cavaliers.
Maine’s Andrew Fleming entered averaging a team-high 20.4 points per game, but Virginia shut out the senior forward for the first 22 minutes. He finished with seven points on 3-of-13 shooting.
Huff scored Virginia’s first seven points of the contest with a 3-pointer, a jumper and a dunk, and the Cavaliers took an early 14-5 lead on Clark’s 3-pointer.
Diakite scored five points in 12 seconds with a three-point play followed by a steal and breakaway slam dunk, stretching Virginia’s lead to 22-10. Diakite’s layup with 3:01 left gave the Cavaliers their largest lead of the first half at 24-10.
Larsson’s four-point play with 10.1 seconds to play cut the Black Bears’ halftime deficit to 24-14. Before that, Maine had 10 points and 10 turnovers in the half.
Maine point guard Sergio El Darwich rolled his right ankle with 1:04 left in the opening half. He was helped off the floor and did not return, finishing with five points and four rebounds.
The Cavaliers played without guard Braxton Key, their second-leading scorer (10.3) and top rebounder (8.3) through six games. The senior had surgery on his left wrist Tuesday and is out indefinitely.
Virginia returns to action on Dec. 4 at Purdue for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Maine’s next game is Sunday afternoon at UConn.
—Field Level Media