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UVa. holds off Highlanders

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Cavs win despite shooting 24 percent in second half

It wasn’t pretty, but Virginia was able to overcome a slow start and a sluggish second half to beat Radford 54-44 Tuesday night.

Radford led 14-8 with 11:16 left in the first before Virginia closed out the first half on a 24-5 run to lead 32-19 at the break. UVa. (6-3, 1-0 ACC) actually scored 22 straight encompassing the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half to seemingly take control.

Radford (2-6) was able to stay close in large part due to Virginia’s horrid second-half shooting. The Cavs made only four of their 24 field-goal attempts in the second half and shot just 27.7 percent for the game.

Joe Harris and Mustapha Farrakhan led four Virginia players in double figures with 14 points each.

Farrakhan and Mike Scott were both 8-for-8 at the foul line as UVa. went 20-for-24 as a team. Radford was 6-of-8 from the line for the game.

“We probably have to repaint the rims after that game. We had some good looks, and certainly we were very cold. We had some struggles, and I just said, Hey. We’re going to have to win ugly in this game, so try to do it on your defensive end,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said.

Virginia forced 19 Radford turnovers and outrebounded the Highlanders 35-30 while holding the Big South team to 38.6 percent from the floor.

“That’s the best we’ve played from the standpoint of being disciplined on both ends of the floor,” said Radford coach Brad Greenberg, whose team cut the UVa. lead to single digits late. “I’m pleased with the fact that we came closer tonight to playing to what I hope will be our basketball identity than we have at any other time this year.”

Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at [email protected].

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