UVa. basketball routs Hampton, 69-40

UVa. broke open a tight game with a 23-0 first-half run en route to blasting Hampton, 69-40, on Tuesday in Charlottesville.

uva-logo-new2The Cavs (5-1) got off to a sluggish start against the Pirates. A jumper by Hampton’s Dionte Adams at the 9:59 mark tied the game at 16. A Joe Harris three-pointer on Virginia’s next possession gave UVa. the lead, but it was still 19-16 ‘Hoos at the 7:48 media timeout.

A Justin Anderson three at the 7:33 mark extended the lead to six, and then it became the Joe Harris show, as the senior scored eight in a row on a conventional three-point play, a layup and a three-point jumper to push the margin to double digits.

Defense was key in the stretch, with Hampton (2-3) shooting just 1-for-11 from the field and committing seven turnovers in the final 10 minutes of the first half as Virginia closed on a 24-3 run and led 40-19 at the break.

A 10-0 run coming out of the locker room pushed the lead to 31, and Virginia led by as many as 36 before garbage time.

Harris, who came into the game averaging just 9.8 points per game after putting up 16.3 points per game in a stellar junior season in 2012-2013, led all scorers with 20 points on 7-for-7 shooting from the field, including 4-for-4 from three-point range.

Anderson added 12 points off the bench.

UVa. shot 51.1 percent (24-for-47) from the field and a blistering 66.7 percent (8-for-12) from three-point range.

Hampton was led by Dwight Meikle’s 12 points.

The Pirates shot 33.3 percent (17-for-51) from the field and was just 2-for-13 (15.4 percent) from three-point range.

Virginia outrebounded Hampton, 41-21.


Virginia Team Notes
• Virginia improved to 7-0 all-time vs. Hampton
• The Cavaliers remained undefeated (21-0) against MEAC schools
• Virginia went on an 23-0 run in the first half (second consecutive game with a run of at least 20 straight points)
• The Cavaliers’ 40 first-half points were their most since scoring 41 first-half points vs. Georgia Tech on Feb. 24, 2013 (led 41-29 at half, won 82-54)
• Virginia’s 21-point halftime lead (40-19) was its largest since leading Clemson by 28 points (38-10) at the half on Feb. 7, 2013
• Hampton’s 19 first-half points mark the third time this season the Cavaliers have allowed fewer than 20 points in a half (26th time in the Tony Bennett era)
• Virginia held an opponent under 50 points for the third time this season

Virginia Player Notes
• Joe Harris (20 pts) had his 11th career 20-point game (first this season)
• Harris scored in double figures for the third time this season (72nd time of his career)
• Harris’ 7-of-7 from the floor was the best perfect-shooting game by a Cavalier since Mike Scott was 9-of-9 vs. Wake Forest on Feb. 8, 2012
• Harris’ 4-of-4 from 3-point range was the best perfect 3-point shooting game by a Cavalier since Paul Jesperson went 4-of-4 at Maryland on Feb. 10, 2013
• Justin Anderson (12 pts) scored in double figures for the second time this season (13th time of his career)
• Jeff Jones scored his first career points (2)

Virginia Player Career Highs
• Rob Vozenilek scored a career-high three points
• Rob Vozenilek had a career-high five rebounds
• Caid Kirven tied a career high with two points

Virginia Record Book
• Joe Harris (1,324 pts) moved into 24th place on Virginia’s career scoring list, moving past Norman Nolan (1,321 pts, 1995-98)
• Joe Harris (200 3-ptrs) moved into a fifth-place tie on Virginia’s career 3-pointer list, tying Sammy Zeglinski (200, 2008-12)

John Paul Jones Arena Records
• Joe Harris set a JPJ 3-point percentage record with 100% (4-4); previous record was 100% (3-3) – three times (last Evan Nolte vs. North Texas, 11/20/12)


Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the game: “We were a step behind, we were stretched, they got right to the rim and that concerned me. Then, I thought we adjusted and started shooting the ball better. That was a concern seeing us stretched out like that, and them getting in the lane. Once we settled in, we were better.”

On Joe Harris: “He had a great rhythm and was letting it fly.  He moved hard without the ball and it seems like he is getting his timing back, which was nice to see.”

On Justin Anderson’s defense: “His point of attack is so important to us as a defense. He is what we call a road-block. When he gets low and wide and is engaged, he is hard to get around. That definitely helped us and the other guys started tightening up and not stretching so much.”

On balance in the offense: “We have to be balanced to be good. We have to have other guys touching the paint and moving the ball. I think Joe is a team guy. He is happy moving the ball and taking shots and being aggressive when he needs to.”

On having a shooting team: “I don’t think we are a lights-out shooting team. If we are sharing the ball, then we take good shots. I think we can be solid. We cannot live and die by the three. That is not our ticket. We just need to keep shooting and keep hitting good shots.”

On Darion Atkins: “Darion has some touch around the basket and he is pretty complete. If he keeps working, he could have a really great year, and a great senior year next year. I think he gives us that lift. I have been happy with him.”

On the walk-ons and newer players: “It was good for those guys. They work hard and are such servants in practice, so to reward them and challenge them was great.”


Hampton Head Coach Edward Joyner, Jr. 

On Virginia and the game as a whole: “I don’t want to take anything away from Virginia. They are a heck of a defensive team. Everybody knows about the packline defense. They pack it in and that’s fine. I think that just as much as that happened, I felt like we lost our legs. I saw travel hit us. It’s kind of like we gave all we had to come here and play them.”

On UVa’s two impressive runs: “At the under eight TV timeout the score was 16-19, and then we didn’t score again for probably six and a half minutes. Then we didn’t score in the second half for the first five and a half minutes. I think our legs left, along with them applying the defensive pressure.”

On learning from tonight’s game: “I think that was the lesson our guys learned. They played hard. I’ll give it to our guys. Every night they come give it everything they have. But tonight they ran into a group of guys who really play hard. Because of what UVa sees every night and what they are up against every night, they have to bring a different level. Our guys saw what it was like. Maybe we can bottle those first eight minutes, where we met UVa basket for basket, and we can do that for 35 minutes.”


Virginia Sophomore Guard Justin Anderson

On playing a good all-around game: “I think this was my most complete game. I think I did well guarding their point guard, who got off to a good start. He is really good. On offense, I was moving the ball and catching and firing with confidence. I was getting good looks. I just have to keep learning and keep going.”

On the rewarding feeling of being the lockdown defender on the team: “It feels great. I love that. It has always been that way for me, especially when it comes to point guards. I love guarding point guards. They are fun to guard because they always have the ball in their hand. I just use my length, spread out, and get low and try to contain them. I love challenges. I do whatever I need to do for Coach Bennett, so I took it personally to stop him.”


Virginia Senior Guard Joe Harris

On playing higher level teams in the future: “Nothing to take away from the teams we have been playing, but we are excited to see some higher-level teams. We will definitely see that in Texas and from here on out. Larry Brown coaches SMU, so we know they will be really well-coached.”

On locking down defensively midway through the first half: “I think we came out a little flat. We didn’t do that good of a job defensively. There was a point where they had 16 points with eight minutes left in the half. That was when we really kicked it in defensively. I don’t think they had anything easy from then on out. Justin did a great job on the ball and the bigs did a great job of showing on screens. They made it really tough.”

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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