Virginia rolls to easy 67-42 win over Navy
Anthony Gill had 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting, Joe Harris had 16 on 7-of-8 shooting, and Virginia dominated the boards against a smaller Navy team en route to posting a 67-42 win Tuesday in Charlottesville.
UVa. (3-1) went on a 13-0 run to open up a 30-12 lead at the 2:01 mark of the first half. Navy (2-3) didn’t get any closer than 14 the rest of the way, and the ‘Hoos closed out the game on a 6-0 run to push the margin to its biggest of the night.
Virginia shot 56.6 percent from the field for the game, though the Cavs did struggle from three-point range (3-for-15, 20 percent) and most noticeably from the free-throw line (4-of-11, 36.4 percent).
Malcolm Brogdon and Mike Tobey each had 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field for UVa.
Brandon Venturini was the lone Navy scorer in double figures with 15 points.
The Midshipmen shot 33.3 percent (16-of-48) from the field, but did shoot decently from deep, connecting on 7-of-23 attempts from three-point range (30.4 percent).
Virginia next plays at home on Saturday at 4 p.m. against in-state opponent Liberty.
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett
On Joe Harris’ performance tonight: “I thought Joe was back on track tonight. He only scored one point in the Davidson game. His shots will come. He is attacking and making some good passes. He shot the ball really well yesterday in practice. He really got his stroke going from the three-point line. It was nice to see a little more rhythm. We need Joe to do that. It was nice during the Davidson game, when Joe wasn’t scoring the other guys stepped up. Joe had the right mindset tonight and he looked inside. He was more assertive. We want him to have the green light mentality. Joe doesn’t normally force his shots. We want him to hunt his catches and hunt his shots.”
On offense: “I think that the four-man front court is one of our strengths. I think that Anthony [Gill] and Mike [Tobey] are two of our better scorers in terms of the front line. I like different combinations. I think that Darion [Atkins] and Akil [Mitchell] are probably ahead of those two defensively – so I like to match Darion with one of them and Akil with one of them, to anchor the defense. I think sometime I’ll have to look at going big and playing three of those four.”
On the early lead: “I think that was valuable. I think we defended really well in the first half. Navy runs its offense really hard. If you’re not in a good position early on, they will get a lot of uncontested shots. Our guys adjusted and guarded well. I liked our defensive commitment early on, which allowed us to get that lead and then look at different combinations. The minutes balanced out and I think that is positive.”
On missed shots: “London [Perrantes] shot it well yesterday in practice, but we’ve just got to keep taking those threes within reason. The guys have to know who they are in terms of their shot selection. We’re certainly shooting a lot. The free throw line – that is what it is right now. Some of the guys looked a little anxious at the free throw line, but hopefully they will keep getting there and make those shots when we need them.”
On Evan Nolte: “He shot it really well yesterday also. He doesn’t look comfortable yet. In terms of the air ball, I don’t know what that was. He just needs to keep plugging. He is a smart player. He gives us lifts at certain times and he is a lot better than he looks. I do not think it is the concussion.”
On Mike Tobey: “He can score. He had a very nice game against Davidson. I like to match Mike up with Akil [Mitchell]. They are really doing some good things together. Mike is playing at a high level. I think he is able to show his ability to draw attention. Tonight, they weren’t double teaming him and when they don’t do that he has a pretty good opportunity to score most of those times.”
Navy Head Coach Ed DeChellis
On importance of the first five minutes: “I just thought the first five minutes were going to be critical to us and I tried to emphasize that to our team. I tried to stress on the team that it was very important to get off to a good start. We had to gain some confidence. We had some wide-open shots in the first five minutes of the game and could not make any of them. To me that’s where you have to put your pole in the ground and make some baskets to give your team confidence. That’s the way these games go, they kind of snowball and you can’t score, then you’re rushing shots, next thing you know you don’t score, your defense starts to slack.”
On Virginia’s caliber: Virginia’s a very good basketball team. They have good front line guys. They put the big kid in the line up tonight, 10 [Mike Tobey], and he was a workhorse for them and he’s a tough kid for us to match. Their strength, they’re physical and big, it was tough to complete some plays that we normally complete. They’re a good team and well coached. I think they’ll be a top-25 college basketball team and they’ll do very well in the ACC.”
On where Navy lacked: “For us, we didn’t do the things we talked about doing like taking care of the ball, making easy plays, making them guard us, being on offense longer than defense. We didn’t understand that concept. We tried to drive and score over them. We said our concept was drive to pitch, and we didn’t do that. So, those are the things we control that are upsetting to a coaching staff.”
On playing against Joe Harris: He’s a good player. He’s going to score against everybody. He’s not a first-team all-ACC player for nothing. We didn’t want Brandon [Venturini] to guard him. I didn’t because I didn’t want to take away from Brandon’s offense. He was a guy that could make shots and was making shots, so I didn’t want to run him around defensively and lose his legs trying to guard a guy that’s a difficult challenge to guard. Right or wrong, we tried to play some zone. We didn’t do that very well either. We didn’t do the things we needed to do.”
Virginia Forward Anthony Gill
On coming off the bench for the first time this season: “I think its good. He’s [Coach Bennett] trying different things right now to see what fits best. I’m not mad at him for it. He’s a great coach and I trust him, we all trust him.”
On getting Joe Harris shots after a slow game vs. Davidson: “Joe works so hard, and being a senior this year we want to send him out with a bang. So whenever that happens, and they did take him out of the game a bit, we want to get out there and get him going.”
Virginia Center Mike Tobey
On his first start of the season: “It’s always nice to start, but like Coach Bennett said – it doesn’t really mean much with the depth on our team. Anyone could start any given night.”
On his first six minutes playing tonight: “I just need to go out there, whether I’m starting or coming off the bench, with as much energy and fire as I can.”
Virginia Guard Joe Harris
On his mindset after a slow game vs. Davidson: “I don’t think about going out there and trying to get a lot of points necessarily. The most important thing I was thinking about tonight was that we came out flat against Davidson on the offensive and defensive end. So whether it was trying to match their effort on the defensive end, and they cut really hard and run their offense really hard, or offensively being aggressive and assertive, and creating shots for myself and my teammates.
On Virginia’s depth: “We have a lot more depth this year and everyone can see that from our first few games. It seems like a different guy every night is putting up points and playing well offensively. I think we have more depth than we have in the past and that will be a good thing as the season progresses.”
Virginia Forward Evan Nolte
On improving his shooting: “It’s a matter of staying in there and trying to stay confident and stepping into my shot. I’ve got to try to keep shooting, as a shooter that’s what you have to do, especially when they are not falling.”
On returning from injury (concussion): “Well I couldn’t do anything. But I don’t think that played a part in anything. I think I’m fit – my conditioning is fine. ”
On Virginia’s struggles at the line: “We have been practicing free throws and shooting and I think it is a matter of again – just keep shooting and staying confident – not looking at the last shot and just stepping in there with confidence”
Virginia Guard Malcolm Brogdon
On playing the 2 position: “Playing the off guard is what I’ve always done. I feel making plays overall and getting people involved in the scoring, all of that is my strong suit. I’m going to try to play my best, and if scoring is what my team needs I’m going to try to do that and also try to get my team involved ”
On his shooting success: “It’s good to see hard work pay off, it gives me more and more confidence. I’ve got a good coach, Coach Bennett believes in me and keeps telling me to shoot and lets me play with freedom.”
On the team’s depth: “It has definitely helped, we have basically played a nine/ten man rotation and you see the best teams in the country usually play with eight or nine guys. If we stay together, stay humble, and keep working hard we can do special things this year because we are really deep.”