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Virginia takes one from Tech men

POSTED: March 14, 2008 5:01 a.m.

ATLANTA — Calvin Baker is used to watching Sean Singletary take the pivotal shots for Virginia.

This time, Singletary drew three Georgia Tech defenders, so his best option was to pass to Baker beyond the 3-point arc.

"He told me he was going to look for me," Baker said. "I just tried to go to the spot where he knew I would be. I knew he would find me. He always does."

Baker hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 4.2 seconds remaining, and Singletary scored 17 points in Virginia’s 76-74 victory over Georgia Tech on Monday night.

Georgia Tech led 74-73 after Jeremis Smith’s reverse layin before Singletary quickly dribbled up the floor and passed to Baker on the right wing.

On Virginia’s previous possession, Baker’s putback of Singletary’s missed reverse layup gave the Cavaliers a 73-72 lead, their first since the 4:20 mark.

Baker scored five of his 10 points in the final 29.1 seconds. The sophomore guard finished with seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.

"Calvin had the wherewithal to confidently step into the shot and make a huge, huge basket for us," Virginia coach Dave Leitao said. "That’s a credit to him because nine times out of 10, Sean will take the shot, and I want him to take that shot."

Zack Peacock scored a career-high 23 points to lead Georgia Tech (12-16, 5-9 Atlantic Coast Conference), but his errant pass on the left baseline was stolen by Singletary and set up Baker’s putback.

Moe Miller’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer fell off the rim to guarantee the Yellow Jackets’ first losing home record at Alexander Memorial Coliseum since 1980-81.

"We were trying to get Moe going towards the basket," Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "He got a good look. I certainly thought we could get at least four dribbles and get a decent shot off, but it just didn’t happen for us tonight."

Virginia (14-13, 4-10 ACC) began the game as the league’s worst team, but the Cavaliers have won two of three.

The game was rescheduled from Feb. 21, when rain leaked through the roof and soaked part of the court.

Lauryna Mikalauskas had 15 points and seven rebounds for Virginia.

Anthony Morrow scored 13 points for Georgia Tech, but he hit just one of six 3-point attempts. Three of his jumpers failed to touch the rim in the second half.

"We fought hard," Morrow said. "I missed some shots I should have made."

With 4:11 remaining, Gani Lawal hit two free throws to put the Jackets ahead 70-69, ending a 4-minute span in which the lead changed hands seven times.

Virginia, which won on the Tech campus for the first time since 2002, plays the third game of three in five days when No. 7 Duke visits Charlottesville on Wednesday.

After Smith’s dunk gave the Jackets a 47-42 lead early in the second half, Virginia had a seven-point possession thanks to personal and technical fouls on Morrow. The officiating crew charged Morrow with taunting Mikalauskas after the 246-pound forward’s putback brought the Cavs within three.

After Mikalauskas hit the ensuing free throw, Singletary converted two foul shots as a result of the technical.

Virginia, which maintained possession, went ahead 49-47 when Singletary drove the lane and passed quickly to Mikalauskas for a short jumper off the backboard.

Virginia, which was coming off a two-point loss at Miami on Saturday, had lost six of 10 ACC games either in overtime or by no more than two points in regulation.

"Somebody had to pay," Mikalauskas said. "We came back when we had to."

Singletary overcame soreness in his bruised right knee to play a team-high 33 minutes. The senior guard, who finished with six assists, scored 15 points in the second half.

"I felt a little fatigued in the first half," Singletary said. "I knew after that I had to suck it up. This feels good. No matter how you do it, no matter how ugly it is, it’s good to win."

Tech senior point guard Matt Causey, who scored 12 of his 18 points in an overtime win at Virginia on Jan. 27, missed his second straight game for the Jackets after suffering a mild concussion last week at Duke.


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