The all-time basketball series between the Virginia Cavaliers and the South Carolina Gamecocks was a slight 25-24 edge for UVA before last night’s contest in Columbia, UVA’s second true road-game of the season. Virginia dominated this edition of the rivalry with their former ACC foe, leading wire-to-wire in a 69-52 victory.
Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy lead the way offensively for the Cavaliers (10-0), accounting for 43 points. Jerome scored a season-high 25 points, while also filling his stat sheet with 7 assists and 6 rebounds.
South Carolina (4-6) stayed within striking distance throughout the first half, and even cut the Virginia lead to just 35-31 early in the second half, but the Cavaliers responded with a 17-4 run, building a comfortable lead they would never relinquish.
Kyle Guy scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half. “Kyle, you know, he’s a shot away from going on a three or four shot streak”, head coach Tony Bennett said about the junior guard, known for his ability to get hot at any moment.
Mamadi Diakite joined Jerome and Guy as the three Cavaliers to reach double figures with 10 points. Jack Salt made his presence felt on the glass with 9 rebounds, as well as on the defensive end with a steal and a block.
Salt anchored the stout UVA defense, which held South Carolina to just 36% from the field.
Freshman guard Kihei Clark logged 24 minutes off the bench, despite undergoing surgery to repair a hairline wrist fracture just 10 days earlier and having no official timetable to return. His play made a much more substantial impact than the 2-point, 2-assist performance shown in the box score, with the defense receiving a huge lift from his constant ball pressure and energy.
With the win, UVA advances to 10-0 on the season for the first time since the 2014-2015 campaign when they went 19-0.
Up next, Virginia returns home to face in-state rival William & Mary on December 22nd.