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Postgame Notes: Virginia 67, Mississippi Valley State 39

Team Notes

• Virginia allowed under 40 points for the second straight game, the first time the Cavaliers have allowed under 40 in consecutive games since 1948-49 (38 by Langley Field, 39 by Richmond Royals)

• Mississippi Valley State’s 19 percent (11-58) from the floor is the lowest percentage ever by a Virginia opponent (previous record was by UNLV, 22.4%, 13-58,  on Jan. 3, 1994)

• MVSU’s 19 percent is the second lowest FG% this season by a Division I team (North Carolina A&T shot 15.2% in a 93-39 loss at Cincinnati on Nov. 18)

• The Delta Devils’ 11 field goals tie the record for fewest by a Virginia opponent (James Madison, 11-41, on Dec. 1, 1982)

• Virginia held Mississippi Valley State to 17 second-half points, marking the fifth time this season the Cavaliers have held an opponent under 20 points in a half

• The Cavaliers held an opponent under 40 points for the fifth time in the Tony Bennett era

• Virginia held an opponent under 50 points for the fifth time this year (5-0) and the 23rd time in the Tony Bennett era (22-1)

• Virginia played a SWAC opponent for the first time in 11 seasons and the second time overall (def. Grambling 112-67 on Dec. 30, 2001)

• Virginia won its seventh consecutive game


Player Notes

• Akil Mitchell (20 pts) has scored in double figures in nine of 10 games this season

• Mitchell had the second 20-point game of his career

• Caid Kirven made his collegiate debut

• Doug Browman saw action for the first time in five games, Taylor Barnette saw action for the first time in four games and Thomas Rogers saw action for the first time in five games


Player Career Highs

• Akil Mitchell tied a career high with 20 points and had a career-high four steals

• Darion Atkins tied a career high with 14 points

• Justin Anderson had a career-high 15 points and a career-high nine rebounds

• Joe Harris had a career-high six assists

• Taylor Barnette tied a career high with four assists

• Mike Tobey had a career-high three blocks


Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On getting more players many minutes:

“You never know what to expect watching Mississippi Valley. They had Northwestern tied with five minutes (to go). They had a guy who scored 36 points. You didn’t know what kind of game it was, but if we played well, I was hoping to get some of our young guys more experience, and we did. Hopefully, Mike (Tobey) didn’t break his nose. We were sloppy. We’ve got some things to work on, but those minutes are always valuable for your young guys.”


On 8-2 record:

“I’m thankful that we’re 8-2 after starting off 1-2. We played stretches of good basketball, but we have some things to work on. I can see that. Look at the offensive rebounds in this game. We wanted to go inside and we did more in the second half, but I’ve got to keep defining how we’ve got to play.”

“I’m thankful and I think there were stretches of good basketball. Now the guys really have to buckle down and hit the books. We’ll have a couple days off and work through the finals schedule.”


On Justin Anderson and bench players:

“He got 27 minutes. After the last two practices, I took Justin, Taylor, Mike, Evan and Doug, and especially with Jontel aggravating his foot again, I said those guys are going to have to give us something. So, we worked after practice. We’re trying to get those guys to really hold them accountable and work with them because they’re going to be important.”

“I like it when I see them get these opportunities. I like it when I see them do the things we’re working on.”


Virginia Junior Forward Akil Mitchell

On the entertaining style of play today:

“It’s fun for the guys, the team, and fans, but winning basketball games isn’t all about entertainment. I know my coach and if we were out there making dumb decisions and dumb plays, he wouldn’t stand for it. But, if we can be a little flashy and still get it done, then he has no problem with that.”


On his hot start in the second half:

“I was a little frustrated in the first half. I didn’t get the minutes I wanted because of foul trouble, and I missed a couple of easy shots. I felt a little out of rhythm. But my teammates came back out and made me the focus in the start of the second half. It felt good.”


Virginia Freshman Forward Justin Anderson

On slow start:

“I got a couple of good looks at first, but it was early, especially coming off the bench at the start. But, it was trust in our coaches. They called me over and told me to get something with my athleticism, so I trusted them and good things happened.”


Virginia Sophomore Forward Darion Atkins

On scoring:

“It was definitely not the toughest defensive team we’ve faced, not at all. It was really easy to score. It really was. I’m not going to try to fluff it or anything.”


On upcoming break from games:

“I think it catches us at a good time. It gives us a chance to get some rest, and it’s long overdue. We’ve had so many close games that I feel like we need this. Once we have this break, we’ll come back more energized and more focused.”


Mississippi Valley State Head Coach Chico Potts

Opening Statement:

“My main message was the first thing I look at is rebounding and I look at turnovers. We didn’t really turn the ball over much and we did a decent job rebounding. My main deal was we shot the ball 19 percent. As much as we shoot, for us to shoot 19 percent, that’s unheard of. ”


On Virginia’s defensive play:

“They did a good job, but we have played some stiff defensive teams thus far. Cincinnati played some really tough defense, but we have never shot 19 percent. If we’re shooting at 29 percent or in the low 30s, I think we give ourselves a chance because now we are able to do some other things in terms of how we play offensively. “

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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