CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Sam Hauser hit seven of Virginia’s 14 3-pointers and the No. 8 Cavaliers cruised to an 81-58 victory against Syracuse on Monday night.
Hauser hit five 3s before halftime as Virginia (11-2, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) took a 41-26 lead into the locker room. He finished with 21 points.
With Jay Huff adding a career-high 21 points to go along with 12 rebounds and Trey Murphy III making four 3s on his way to 16 points, the Cavaliers finished 14 for 31 from deep. It was the seventh consecutive victory for the 2019 national champions.
Quincy Guerrier led the Orange (9-5, 3-4) with 15 points, and Alan Griffin had 13. Syracuse was 5 for 24 from 3-point territory and just 22 of 59 overall (37.3%).
Syracuse pulled within 11 twice after halftime, the last at 49-38 on a 3-pointer by Robert Braswell with 12:52 to go. But Virginia followed with a 10-3 run that ended with Hauser’s seventh 3-pointer, making it 59-41 with 10 minutes to play.
Virginia coach Tony Bennett pulled his starters in the final two minutes and the Cavaliers still closed the game on a 12-2 run.
Syracuse: The Orange came in shooting 78.9% from the free-throw line, on pace to set a program record, and only enhanced it by going 9 for 10. But they had some trouble with the Cavaliers’ highly regarded Pack-Line defense.
Virginia: After going 17 for 51 (33%) from 3-point range in his first 10 games, Hauser is living up to his reputation as a 3-point specialist. The Marquette transfer is 15 of 21 from long range in the last three games.
The Orange are at home against North Carolina State on Sunday.
Virginia goes on the road to play at No. 20 Virginia Tech on Saturday.