CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Virginia could ill-afford a slip-up against Georgia Tech Sunday as it tries to build an NCAA tournament resume, and the Cavaliers delivered, beating the Yellow Jackets 82-54 for their 15th consecutive home win.
Virginia (19-8, 9-5 ACC) lost the first meeting against Georgia Tech 66-60 back on Feb. 3, a game where the Cavaliers led by nine points at halftime before being outscored 38-23 in the second half to let a road win slip away.
The Cavaliers did not repeat their mistake at home, where they are now 16-1, and outscored Georgia Tech 39-23 to snap a two-game losing skid.
Facing a 12-point halftime deficit, Georgia Tech (14-12, 4-10 ACC) used the three-ball to get back in the game early in the second half. The Yellow Jackets made three shots from beyond the arc in the first 5:46 of the final period, the last of which from Robert Carter, Jr. that made the score 45-40 with 14:14 to play.
Virginia answered with a 16-1 spurt that put the game away over the next 4:30 to push the lead to 20 with 9:44 to play, capped off by a pair of 3s on consecutive possessions by freshman Taylor Barnette that made the score 61-41.
Akil Mitchell had 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting while pulling down eight rebounds to lead Virginia. Joe Harris had 15 points, and senior point guard Jontel Evans added 10 points, eight assists, and no turnovers.
For the game, the Cavaliers turned the ball over just five times compared to 17 for Georgia Tech.
Marcus Georges-Hunt had 12 points while Daniel Miller added 11 for the Yellow Jackets.
As a team, Georgia Tech shot 44 percent (22 of 50) from the field while Virginia shot 54.2 percent (32 of 59) from the field.
Virginia led 41-29 at halftime, despite coming out of the gates a little sluggish.
After trailing 7-2 early, Virginia went on a 12-0 run that began with a Paul Jesperson 3 with 16:51 left in the opening half and concluded with a Mitchell layup with 13:28 to go. From there, Georgia Tech never came closer than five points the rest of the half.
The Cavaliers shot 53.3 percent (16 of 30) in the opening period with nine assists compared to just two turnovers. Justin Anderson and Harris each had nine points to lead Virginia.
Georgia Tech actually shot 54.2 percent (13 of 24) in the first half, but the Yellow Jackets did not do well taking care of the ball with 10 turnovers and just two assists. Georges-Hunt had a team-high nine points in the first half.
NOTES: Georgia Tech is 39-35 against Virginia in a series that dates to the 1947-48 season. ... The Yellow Jackets are now 5-34 in ACC road games in the last five seasons. ... Virginia freshman center Mike Tobey saw his first action since Feb. 3 at Georgia Tech. Tobey missed the last five games with mononucleosis.