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Virginia can't hold late lead; 4-game win streak snapped

ATLANTA

Virginia came in with a four-game winning streak.

Georgia Tech had lost six of its previous seven games.

Forget the law of averages.

Trailing by nine points with under eight minutes to go, the Yellow Jackets outscored the Cavaliers 16-3 the rest of the way Sunday, beating Virginia 66-60 at newly-christened McCamish Pavilion.

Virginia (15-6, 5-3 ACC) didn't help itself on the offensive end, missing 15 of its last 16 shots, but time after time, the Cavaliers made defensive stops only to have Georgia Tech grab the offensive rebound, tip the ball outside or force a quick turnover

"There were a lot of plays like that," said U.Va. freshman Justin Anderson, who scored 10 points and had four assists off the bench. "When you're playing so hard and you finally get some relief and then they get the loose ball, you're like, 'Man!'

"You've got to play another 35 seconds of defense, and that's (second chances) something we've got to clean up. I don't think we've had that problem all year, but they got the best of us in that situation."

A crowd of 7,128 gave the Jackets ample support but only after Virginia let the fans back into the game.

It was an afternoon Evan Nolte won't remember fondly. The freshman, last year's Georgia player of the year, missed his first four shots and finished 2-for-9.

"I'd like to have it back," said Nolte, who picked up two quick fouls and was limited to eight minutes in the first half. "I had a lot of friends here and tried to block that out and just play. All of my misses were short. I thought I was a little hesitant."

Another freshman, 6-foot-11 Mike Tobey, who had 13 points in Virgina's win over North Carolina State last week, also picked up two early fouls. He finished with one point and two rebounds in nine minutes.

"Maybe that's (the fouls) where inexperience gets to you," coach Tony Bennett said.

Even U.Va.'s veteran players had problems. Junior Joe Harris had 14 points in pacing the Cavaliers to a 37-28 halftime lead, but missed three 3-point shots in the final 3:29 and finished the game with a career-high six turnovers.

Harris also missed the second of two free throws with 1:04 remaining and the Cavaliers trailing 59-58.

"I've got to make those free throws," said Harris, who led all scorers with 18 points to top 1,000 in his career. "I should be shooting at a much higher clip than I am (72.6 percent).

This is the worst I've ever shot from the foul line."

Senior guard M'fon Udofia had 15 points to lead four players in double figures for Georgia Tech (12-8, 2-6).

His 3-pointer with 7:45 remaining started the Yellow Jackets' 16-3 run.

"For me, this win really has an impact," said Georgia coach Brian Gregory. "They've (the Cavaliers) been playing extremely well - probably the best out of anybody in the league outside of Miami."

Posted to: College Basketball Sports

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