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May 12, 2021

Jerome, Hunter lead No. 2 Virginia’s rout of Ga. Tech

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Ty Jerome scored 19 points, De’Andre Hunter had 18 and No. 2 Virginia took command with a 25-4 first-half run and beat reeling Georgia Tech 81-51 on Wednesday night.

The Cavaliers (25-2, 13-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 11-7 before a 3-pointer by Braxton Key sparked the eight-minute surge. Hunter had nine points, Kyle Guy six and Jerome five in the burst. Virginia’s lead was 41-22 at halftime and 51-24 after a 10-2 run to start the second half as the Cavaliers won their fifth in a row in the series. Guy added 11 points and three others had eight.

Jose Alvarado scored 12 and James Banks III had 11 for the Yellow Jackets (12-17, 4-12), who lost for the ninth time in their last 10 games. Georgia Tech also got a full dose of Virginia’s all-around efficiency as the Cavaliers shot 55.6 percent (30 of 54), made nine 3-pointers and limited the Yellow Jackets to just five 3-pointers (in 17 attempts) and 37.5 percent shooting overall (21 of 56).

BIG PICTURE

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets are very young with only two seniors on the roster, and neither Abdoulaye Gueye nor Brandon Ashton contributed much until Gueye made a few baby hooks in the second half.

Virginia: Coach Tony Bennett went with a new starting five of freshman guard Kihei Clark, Jerome, Guy, Hunter and Mamadi Diakite. It’s the third game in a row Bennett has juggled combinations, with Jack Salt and Braxton Key also getting starts in that span. Salt had started every ACC game before Wednesday night.

•••

WILLIAMS’ BUCKET LIFTS NO. 7 TENNESSEE OVER OLE MISS 73-71

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Grant Williams scored 21 points, including the go-ahead basket with four seconds left, to lift No. 7 Tennessee over Mississippi 73-71 on Wednesday night.

Tennessee (25-3, 13-2 Southeastern Conference) bounced back from a tough loss to LSU on Saturday with a hard-fought victory over the Rebels. The Volunteers remain in a three-way tie atop the SEC with LSU and Kentucky.

The Volunteers trailed 39-34 at halftime, but used a 14-0 run early in the second half to jump back ahead. Ole Miss (19-9, 9-6)  wouldn’t go away, pushing in front 58-57 on Terence Davis’ 3-pointer with 10 minutes left.

From that point forward, it was a back-and-forth struggle. Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree missed the front end of a one-and-one with 18 seconds remaining, Tennessee grabbed the rebound and Williams hit a driving layup in the lane to make it 72-71.

Ole Miss (19-9, 9-6) had one more opportunity in the final seconds, but Devontae Shuler was called for a charge while shooting a deep 3-pointer with a second left. Tyree and Davis led the Rebels with 16 points each.

Tennessee scored the first eight points and led for most of the first half. Ole Miss rallied in the final minutes to take its five-point halftime lead.

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM

No Ole Miss players knelt for the national anthem before the game.

The minutes before the game were highly anticipated after eight Mississippi players kneeled during the anthem in response to a Confederacy rally near the arena before the Rebels’ 72-71 victory over Georgia on Saturday.

But there were no obvious demonstrations before the Tennessee game, with players standing in their usual spot along the free throw line in front of the Ole Miss bench.

BIG PICTURE

Tennessee: It was a huge bounce-back win for Tennessee, which got the clutch shot it needed from Williams in the final seconds. Lamonte’ Turner added 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field.

Ole Miss: A tough loss for the Rebels, who likely would have assured themselves a spot in the NCAA Tournament with a win. Bruce Stevens was a bright spot with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

UP NEXT

Tennessee: Returns home to face No. 4 Kentucky on Saturday.

Ole Miss: Plays at Arkansas on Saturday.

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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