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UVa. escapes Fairfield, 54-45

Virginia held Fairfield to two points in the final 7:25 to break open a tight game with pesky Fairfield and pull away for a workmanlike 54-45 win in the open of the Preseason NIT on Monday.

Fairfield (1-1) led by as many as nine points in the first half, but UVa. scored four points in the final five seconds of the half on an Akil Mitchell jumper and an Evan Nolte steal and layup at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 30-28 at the break.

The ‘Hoos (1-1) clamped down on defense in the second half, limiting the Stags to 15 points in the final 20 minutes, overcoming an offensive effort that was sluggish all night long.

Virginia shot just 40.4 percent from the floor and was 2-for-8 from three-point range.

Joe Harris led the Cavs with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field. Mitchell and Nolte added 11 points each for Virginia, which plays the winner of the Penn-Delaware game Tuesday night in the second round of the NIT.

Josip Mikulic led the Stags with 13 points. Fairfield shot 36.2 percent from the floor for the game, but stayed in it with success from long range, draining seven of its 21 attempts from behind the three-point arc.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press