CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt already knew what the stat sheet said, so when Virginia’s deadly 3-point shooting came up, he had an answer.
“When they see Georgia Tech on the shirts, it’s going in,” Hewitt said Saturday, after Virginia became the latest team to burn the Yellow Jackets with dead-eye 3-point shooting.
Mustapha Farrakhan scored 23 points, K.T. Harrell added 17 and the Cavaliers were 10 for 15 from long range as they beat Georgia Tech 72-64 to end their three-game losing streak.
Farrakhan, who was 2 for 4 on 3-pointers, said the key for the Cavaliers has been going inside again, something they struggled to do after losing scoring and rebounding leader Mike Scott for the season with an ankle injury. Scott was also a good passer from the low post.
“When you see a lane open up, you just try to touch the paint,” Farrakhan said. “If nobody steps up, you go all the way, and if they help over, you make the next pass.”
The Cavaliers did plenty of that against the Yellow Jackets, and finished with 16 assists on their 20 field goals, with Farrakhan and Jontel Evans each credited with five.
The ability to pull up makes Farrakhan especially dangerous, coach Tony Bennett said.
“His ability to beat you off the dribble and then shoot the 3, he’s showing some completeness offensively,” Bennett said of the left-handed senior, adding that Farrakhan often draws an opponent’s most difficult defensive assignment. “He’s playing like a senior.”
The Cavaliers (11-8, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) took command with an 18-3 burst late in the first half. It was fueled in part by 7 for 8 shooting from 3-point territory in the half, and gave them a 43-29 lead at the intermission. They were never really threatened.
“You’ve got to be prepared to stop people, instead of hoping them miss,” Hewitt said.
The Yellow Jackets (9-9, 2-3), coming off blowout wins over North Carolina and Wake Forest, fell to 0-6 on the road and looked like the team that lost 80-63 at Kennesaw State.
Iman Shumpert led them with 19 points and Brian Oliver had 13. Glen Rice Jr., their second-leading scorer, missed 9 of 11 shots and scored five points — eight below his average.
The Cavaliers led 25-24 when they took charge with the 18-3 burst. Farrakhan had eight points in the run and Harrell had seven, while Virginia’s defense also contributed.
At one point, the Cavaliers forced turnovers on four consecutive possessions for the Yellow Jackets without them ever getting off a shot, and scored 9 points in that stretch.
Farrakhan and Harrell each had 13 at the break, and Virginia shot 67 percent (14 of 21). Shumpert led Georgia Tech with eight, and the Yellow Jackets shot 50 percent (12 of 24).
A 3-pointer by Sammy Zeglinski with 14:58 to go stretched Virginia’s lead to 18 — its largest to that point at 51-33 — and the Yellow Jackets never got closer than 13 until the final minute, when Virginia turned the ball over twice while trying to run the clock out.
Virginia has won four of its last five meetings with the Yellow Jackets.
Virginia finished 10 for 15 (67 percent) from 3-point range, while the Yellow Jackets were just 4 for 10. The Cavaliers outscored Georgia Tech 22-10 from the free throw line.
It was the fourth time this season the Cavaliers have shot 50 percent or better from 3-point territory, winning all four of those games.