UVa. basketball splits first two on Euro trip
The loss gave the UVa. basketball team a split in the two games against the Dutch side, having won 89-62 the previous night against the same squad.
The Cavaliers were led by junior Joe Harris (Chelan, Wash.), who scored a game-high 23 points. Senior guard Jontel Evans (Hampton, Va.) added 14 points while dishing out a team-high six assists. Freshman center Mike Tobey (Monroe, N.Y.) and junior forward Akil Mitchell (Charlotte, N.C.) each scored 12 points as Virginia had four players in double figures.
The Cavaliers, who made seven 3-pointers in Wednesday’s game, made just two on Thursday. Virginia was also hampered by 22 turnovers in the rematch. The Dutch shooting improved in the second game, making 11 3-pointers (five in the first game) and shooting 16-17 from the free throw line (13-24 in the first game).
“First, credit that team; those are a little more mature, grown men that had their pride wounded (yesterday),” said head coach Tony Bennett. “They out-physicaled us. They were so ready, and they really took it to us and shot at an incredible clip. But we couldn’t match their intensity or just their ability to do what they wanted. They imposed their will on us; we didn’t do much.”
The Cavaliers started strong in the first 10-minute period, taking an early 9-0 lead. The Netherlands rallied late in the period with a 9-1 run of their own over the last two minutes to take an 18-17 lead. Virginia made only three field goals in the first quarter, but went 11-13 from the line in the opening period.
The Dutch extended their lead with a 16-2 run in the second quarter, fueled by 3-pointers on three straight possessions, as they took a 45-29 lead. That advantage was 14 points at halftime, with the home side leading 49-35. Harris led Virginia with 14 first-half points.
The third quarter saw the Netherlands B Team extend its lead to 20 points, taking a 66-46 advantage after 30 minutes.
In the final quarter the Cavaliers outscored the Dutch 27-16 to bring the final margin to nine points, at 82-73. Leading the way in the final 10 minutes was Evans, who scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. Virginia’s 27 points were the most it has scored in one quarter on the tour.
“We had a nice push at the end with effort and some intensity and execution and got us to a respectable margin,” said Bennett. “But again, a very valuable lesson learned, and we’ll see what we get next time, because I think the competition will keep improving.”
Stefan Mladenovic and Gerald Robinson each scored 15 points to lead the Netherlands B Team, while Kenrick Zondervan added 14 points.
The Cavaliers continue their European trip as they travel to Belgium on Friday. Their next game is Saturday as they will play club team Gembo in Antwerp at 8 p.m. (2 p.m. ET).