Braxton Key scored 15 points and No. 16 Virginia matched its season high with eight 3-pointers in a 65-56 victory against Navy in nonconference action Sunday in Charlottesville, Va.
Mamadi Diakite added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers (10-2). Kihei Clark had 10 points and a career-high 13 assists, Casey Morsell scored 10 and Jay Huff chipped in nine points and four blocks.
The Midshipmen (6-5) put up a fight, wiping out an eight-point halftime deficit with a 12-3 run to start the second half. Cam Davis scored 19 points and Evan Wieck added 13 points and eight boards for Navy.
Navy lost its 19th straight game against a ranked opponent.
Wieck scored the first six points of the second half to pull Navy to within 37-35. Virginia answered with a triple by Diakite with 16:32 left — but that was the only bucket by the Cavaliers in the first 10-plus minutes of the second half.
A 3-pointer by Davis cut the Cavaliers’ lead to 40-38, and John Carter’s 3-pointer gave Navy a 41-40 lead with 10:41 left. It was the Midshipmen’s first lead since 4-3.
Virginia finally got its second basket of the second half on Clark’s jumper with 9:09 left, sparking a decisive 12-0 run by the Cavaliers. Morsell’s layup capped the surge, extending Virginia’s lead to 52-41 with 6:28 left.
Virginia shot 57.7 percent from the field in the first half, including 5 of 10 from behind the arc. Key led the defending national champions with 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
Struggling to shoot the ball all season, Virginia began this one by draining eight of its first nine field-goal attempts. The Cavaliers’ lead reached double digits at 28-18 on Tomas Woldetensae’s 3-pointer with 5:17 left in the first half.
After Huff’s wide-open 3-pointer gave Virginia its largest lead of the half at 37-26, Luke Loehr beat the halftime buzzer with a 3-pointer to trim Navy’s deficit to 37-29 at the break.
The Cavaliers will look to improve their 2-0 start in ACC action when they host Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Midshipmen open Patriot League play Thursday at home against Lehigh.
—Field Level Media