Winston-Salem, N.C. — Points are always at a premium in No. 2 Virginia’s low-scoring games.
So when the Cavaliers finally found their way to the free-throw line after halftime, they cashed in on those freebies — and sidestepped Wake Forest’s upset bid.
Kyle Guy scored 17 points, and Virginia beat the Demon Deacons, 59-49, on Sunday night for its 10th straight win.
De’Andre Hunter added 16 points to help the first-place Cavaliers (18-1, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) extend their longest winning streak since 2015-16 and open league play with seven victories for the second time in four years.
The Cavaliers didn’t attempt a free throw in the first half — one reason they trailed at the break for the second time this season — but went 10 of 10 from the stripe after halftime, with six coming in the final 1:17.
“In the second half, we got loose a little bit in that zone and got some clean looks,” coach Tony Bennett said. “I think, to be in that spot (in a tight game) … this is good. … Can we dig a little deeper? And I thought our guys did a solid job.”
Virginia shot nearly 46 percent in the second half, and the nation’s most efficient defense held Wake Forest to 30-percent shooting after halftime.
“They kind of stuck it to us in the first half, and we were playing kind of sloppy,” Guy said. “We were playing hard, but we just wanted to take it up another notch.”
Bryant Crawford scored 11 points, and Mitchell Wilbekin and Brandon Childress added 10 each for the Demon Deacons (8-11, 1-6), who kept it close against a highly-ranked Virginia team for the second time in three years but were held 11 points below their previous scoring low for the season and lost their fifth straight.
No. 25 Miami 86, (at) North Carolina State 81: Bruce Brown Jr. scored 19 points and Miami shot 58 percent from the field. Anthony Lawrence II and Ebuka Izundu each had 15 points for the Hurricanes (14-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Miami led the entire second half but struggled to put the Wolfpack (13-7, 3-4) away in a game that came down to the final seconds.
Miami came into Raleigh as one the ACC’s worst 3-point shooting teams, but made 10 of 19 tries from behind the arc for its best output in a league game.