Torrid UVa. men’s basketball blasts North Carolina, 76-61
UVa. broke open a close game with a 12-2 run to close out the first half, and blasted reeling North Carolina 76-61 in Charlottesville Monday night.
The game was a nip-and-tuck battle for the first 17 minutes. UNC (11-7, 1-4 ACC) led 27-26 at the 5:57 mark of the first half on a dunk by Kennedy Meeks, but two free throws by Joe Harris made it 28-27 Virginia 25 seconds later, and Carolina could only manage one field goal the rest of the half as the ‘Hoos went into the locker room up 38-29.
UVa. (14-5, 5-1 ACC) started the second half on a 10-4 scoring run to lead by 15 at 48-33 on a free throw by Harris with 17:10 to go. The Tar Heels would not get closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
Virginia shot 48.1 percent from the field (26-of-54) and 40 percent from three-point range (8-of-20). North Carolina was 41.3 percent from the field (26-of-63) and just 26.7 percent from long-range (4-of-15).
Harris and Brogdon had 16 points each to lead Virginia, which also got 13 points from Justin Anderson, eight points and nine assists from London Perrantes and six points and 11 rebounds from Akil Mitchell.
Meeks led UNC with 16 points.
• At 5-1, Virginia is off to its best ACC start since 1994-95 (5-1)
• Virginia won its 12th consecutive ACC home game (tying the longest active streak in the league – Duke)
• All five of Virginia’s ACC wins have been by double digits
Player Career Highs
• London Perrantes had a career-high nine assists
• London Perrantes’ nine assists were the most in a game by a Cavalier since Jontel Evans had 10 assists vs. Howard on Jan. 4, 2011 and the most in an ACC game since Sean Singletary had 10 assists vs. Boston College on Jan. 19, 2008
• Malcolm Brogdon (16 pts) scored in double figures for the sixth straight game and the 12th time this season (17th time in his career)
• Joe Harris (16 pts) scored in double figures for the 13th time this season (82nd time in his career)
• Justin Anderson (13 pts) scored in double figures for the 12th time this season (24th time in his career)
Updated Virginia Record Book
• Joe Harris (224 3-pointers) moved into third place on Virginia’s career 3-point FG list, passing Sean Singletary (222, 2005-08)
• Joe Harris (1,474 points) moved into 18th place on Virginia’s career scoring list, passing Othell Wilson (1,469, 1981-84)
• Akil Mitchell (666 rebounds) moved into 14th place on Virginia’s career rebounding list, moving past Elton Brown (660, 2002-05) and Wally Walker (665, 1973-76)
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett
On the pace of the game: “The game got going early in their pace [of play]. They seduced us into a faster game than we needed to be in. We got control by the end of the first half offensively and defensively, and played the way we needed to play in the second half.”
On foul shots: “It was a hard playing, physical game. They are quick to the ball and hard on the glass, and they put a lot of pressure on us. It was a physical game and we tried to take advantage of that when we could, as well, which resulted in a lot of free throws.”
On the win: “I challenge these guys with the quality of their play. In the second half they responded. When you whip a donkey it kicks, but when you whip a thoroughbred it responds. I am not saying we are a thoroughbred or a donkey, or that we got whipped, but we challenged the guys to get the game back in their control, and the fact that they responded and played quality possessions is what I like the most.”
On Akil Mitchell: “We keep telling him to get on the glass, take what the defense gives you, and get the ‘X-Factor’ baskets and plays. That’s when he is at his best. Manufacturing offense is not his strength. He made a nice play, and I have been proud of how he has fallen into his role to help us and help himself. I like where he is going.”
On Joe Harris: “Joe is playing efficient games. It is rare to have a player of his caliber with his unselfishness, who really doesn’t care if he takes the shots or not. The other guys give us the balance and better chemistry. The guys are more shot discerning and they are making plays. To see Joe have four assists and no turnovers, he is unique in that way.”
On London Perrantes: “I know he was really good defensively tonight, because I know how good UNC’s Marcus Paige is. He made a couple of nice drives. He has a calming effect on our players. When he gets the ball he does not get sped up and he sees things that most guys do not. He was very complete.”
On Anthony Gill: “He was good on his ball-screen defense. This was a game where I can go down the list and say that each guy gave us a good lift. Gill is taking what the defense gives him, instead of forcing the action. He is taking a lot of perimeter shots and spinning off, getting on the glass. This was one of the better games he has played.”
North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams
On game: “Virginia was the more efficient team. We had some offensive rebounds, but we did not finish them off. Joe Harris is a great player. I love watching him play on TV – not when we’re playing against him. Tony Bennett has done a great job getting everyone into a certain role and the players understand how he wants them to play. He has done a lot better of a job with that than I have. The missed opportunities really hurt us tonight, and we are not taking advantages of the mistakes the other team makes.”
On offense: “I’ve got to get my team to play harder and with a greater sense of urgency. Our kids are trying, but they are lacking alertness. Virginia’s players instinctively went after those loose balls harder and faster. Right now, it is not one particular thing. Tonight we had several mistakes.”
On defense: “Going into halftime, it was a one-point game and they scored off of both turnovers there. London Perrantes made that big three before the half and it was a dagger. We gave them a lot of easy balls. We had a failure to box out, failure to get around in front and failure to make the switch. That’s three different mistakes.”
On Leslie McDonald not seeing much action: “I wanted to give someone else a chance. I didn’t think that he deserved to play, but I didn’t want him to sit out. He shot the ball great in practice, but he has got to get better at shot selection.”
On pace of game: “Virginia did a better job of settling down. They have three great ball handlers and Virginia is a very unselfish team. They know who they are. If you look at our team, we have a very negative ratio. Virginia was being more aggressive.”
Virginia Forward Akil Mitchell
On the win: “It’s good. It’s good to beat any team that good. When Justin [Anderson] is out on the floor and playing great, we turn into a different team.”
On UNC’s offensive rebounding: “They got too many rebounds in the first half. I really wanted to set a tone in the second half on the glass. They were scoring a lot off of offensive rebounds in the first half and I really wanted to shut that down.”
On beating UNC: “It’s definitely nice. My old AAU coach was a big Carolina fan and I always had friends on the team and guys I played with. To be able to play them is a dream come true and to beat them is really special.”
Virginia Guard Justin Anderson:
On Virginia’s first half: “We definitely sped up our pace. We went away from our game for a second there in the first half. Some of that blame can be put on me – I took a couple of quick shots which maybe led to them scoring in transition. But I think we did a good job of getting back and making it tough on them. Sometimes it doesn’t go like that, especially against a great team and traditional program like North Carolina – who usually makes you play in transition. But we played with great balance in the second half and that’s Virginia basketball.”
On Coach Bennett’s message during the first half: “He was just being Coach. He told us we got away from what we do but luckily we’re still in the game and we wanted to buy in. We trust him and his game plan, so we wanted to buy into that and be successful and that’s what we did.”
On the game plan: “Our goal was definitely to stretch them out and make them guard us and come off the screens and flares. We wanted to make them run the floor and move more. They’re really good when they can pack it in and use their length. Brice Johnson is long and McAdoo can really move for a power forward. We wanted to look for the open guys. Joe got really hot from the start and that was a beautiful thing to see. He got us started off on the right foot and it was a great collective win.”
Virginia Guard Malcolm Brogdon:
On the win: “We’re not content with the win, but we’re happy about it. That was a good team. I know they’ve been up and down this year, but they’re really talented and well coached. I think we established our path early and got it done.”
On Virginia’s slow start: “I didn’t think we came out and played Virginia basketball in the first half. In the second half Coach Bennett made adjustments and told us to slow down and play our game, and I think we did. We got stops and limited their second chance opportunities and we started playing Virginia basketball.”
Senior Guard Joe Harris
On the victory: “It feels very good to come away with a win against a solid team like Carolina and now we get a day offtomorrow when we all can get some rest.”
On the overall execution: “We knew they were a very talented team, and no disrespect to them and their program, but we expected to win coming into the game. We prepared very well and had a good game plan. Coming in we knew that if we got them into a half-court game we felt pretty confident about it.”
On the fast tempo of the first half: “It was not good, we talked about how we did not want to get into a track meet with them. We wanted to play our tempo and our style. Our first half was not good – we did not play very well at all. We were ahead by nine and did not feel very good about it. We came in and talked about how did not want to go up and down with them. We wanted to grind it out and make them earn everything and have to guard us.”
Freshman Guard London Perrantes
On his game-high nine assists: “I was just getting the ball to people in the right spot and they were knocking down shots. We finished pretty well in the beginning. We got to the lane and got some open looks and dunks. I have to give credit to my teammates who were knocking down shots and finishing.”
On playing against UNC: “It was a good experience, going out there and seeing that Carolina Blue is a dream come true for me. Especially being at Duke last weekend, it’s difficult to explain. Coming out and getting that win against that team is a good experience for me.”
On hitting his shots: “I feel like I did the last couple games. I have not necessarily looked to shoot the ball. I have confidence in myself that if I get it I will shoot it. In blow out situations I like to get other people involved and get them going, because we are going to need everybody in the long run.”
UVA Basketball Fans!
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