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No. 20 Virginia handles Boston College

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — No. 20 Virginia earned its sixth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference win, cruising past Boston College 77-67 on Wednesday night in front of 10,853 at John Paul Jones Arena.

Eight of the Cavaliers’ nine conference games were decided by double-digit margins.

Virginia (18-5, 9-1 ACC) led by at least 10 points for the majority of the game before Boston College used a late spurt to get to within six with less than a minute to play.

“It shouldn’t of gotten to that place if we would have taken care of business,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “BC did a good job, coach did a good job, those guys keep fighting and they’re dangerous.”

Guard Malcolm Brogdon continued his stellar play, scoring 17 points, the 10th straight game he reached double digits. Brogdon added 11 rebounds and seven assists.

Cavaliers guard Justin Anderson came off the bench to contribute 13 points, four rebounds and four assists before fouling out late in the game.

Forward Anthony Gill added 13 points off the bench for Virginia and pulled down seven rebounds.

“That’s where the balance can really help,” Bennett said of his bench’s play.

Virginia and Boston College both shot 48 percent from the field, but the Cavaliers’ bench outscored the Eagles’ bench 39-10. Virginia also outrebounded the Eagles 40-27.

“I think they (Virginia) are terrific,” Boston College coach Steve Donahue said. “I was proud of our effort, but obviously we didn’t do enough to win the game.”

Something that has plagued Virginia all season has been its effort at the free-throw line. That continued, as the Cavaliers were just 19 of 34 from the charity stripe.

“We left so many points at the line,” Bennett said. “That was discouraging. We played well in stretches and it was hard the way they spread you out and the way they were calling the game.”

Boston College (6-16, 2-7) was led by forward Ryan Anderson who scored a game-high 20 points, while guard Olivier Hanlan added 14.

Guard Lonnie Jackson knocked down four 3-pointers and scored 12 points before fouling out midway through the second half.

After the Eagles opened the second half with the first three points, Virginia took its largest lead of the game at 47-26 with 15:55 to play before coasting the rest of the way. Virginia went almost five minutes without scoring late in the second half, allowing the Eagles to make the final score more respectable.

“I was proud of our fight tonight,” Donahue said. “On the road where nothing is going right in the first half, I thought we really competed and executed.”

Virginia shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and took a 40-21 lead into the locker room. Brogdon and Anderson scored nine first-half points apiece for the Cavaliers, while Gill and guard Joe Harris added eight.

Boston College hit 39 percent of its shots before the break, including just 17 percent from beyond the arc. Anderson paced the Eagles with nine first-half points.

After Boston College led 3-2, Virginia used an 18-2 run to take a 20-5 lead with 9:52 to go.

The Eagles responded with an 8-0 run to pull within 20-13, but the Cavaliers outscored Boston College 20-8 the rest of the way to take a 19-point lead, their largest of the half.

NOTES: Virginia is ranked this week (No. 20 in the AP poll and No. 21 in the coaches poll) for the first time since being ranked No. 25 in both polls on Nov. 11. … The Cavaliers led by 21 or more points in eight of their nine ACC wins. … Boston College has one road victory this season, a 62-59 win at Virginia Tech on Jan. 11. … The Eagles are 6-5 against the Cavaliers in the past 11 meetings.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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