Virginia guard De’Andre Hunter scored 23 points against the Dayton Flyers with only three of them coming on 3-point shots.
However, Hunter’s one 3-pointer was the dagger in Virginia’s 66-59 victory in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis on Thursday. The shot with 55 seconds left extended Virginia’s lead to 63-56.
“He’s a really good player,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “That was a huge (3-pointer) at the end. Obviously a two-possession game, shot clock winding down with a minute to play. You get a miss there and who knows. You get a transition opportunity. It’s a different ballgame. That was huge. He’s a big player and made a big-time play for his team.”
Virginia made 7 of 20 3-pointers (35 percent). Dayton made 5 of 14 (35.7), and Jalen Crutcher made 3 of 6.
Hunter, who was averaging 14.5 points per game entering the game, doesn’t shoot many 3-pointers but is accurate. He has made 7 of 12 this season.
“When I got it, I knew the guy was going to jump, so I pump faked,” Hunter said, “and when I took the dribble, I saw the shot clock so I knew I had to shoot it, and it was kind of just instinct from there and it’s just a shot that I shoot all the time.”
» BUTLER GAME: Dayton proves the doubters wrong
Virginia (5-0) handed Dayton (4-1) its first loss.
“That was a gritty game,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “It was hard fought. Dayton is tough to play against, and that’s one of the first games we’ve been in where possessions mattered late. De’Andre (Hunter), I thought was great, the plays he made and how hard he played, and different guys stepped up. They had a bunch of points in the paint, 36, and they shot a high percentage so there’s certainly things to learn and grow from and some real good things as well.
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