CHARLOTTESVILLE — In its second game of the season, UVa scored 49 points in a loss to South Florida. That’s still the lowest output of the Tony Bennett Era at Virginia, but it was threatened Wednesday night at John Paul Jones Arena.
With a minute to play, UVa trailed Florida State 66-46. But junior guard Jeff Jones went 1 for 2 from the line to make it 66-47, and then freshman Tristan Spurlock was fouled while making a layup.
Spurlock’s free throw with 18.6 seconds left closed out the scoring in Virginia’s 69-50 loss.
“He made a nice play, made an ‘and 1,’ got us to 50,” Bennett said.
Spurlock, whose jumping ability has made him a fan favorite, scored 5 points in 5 minutes of mop-up duty against FSU. Two nights earlier, in a one-sided loss to Maryland, he’d scored 4 points in another late-game stint.
“Obviously, being a first-year guy, he’s got to continue to work, and then when those opportunities present themselves, get in there and be ready,” Bennett said.
“We’ve tried to give him a few more reps in practice, and we’ll see. There’s not a lot of separation [among UVa’s players], so I have to keep taking a look at everything. But it’s good to see him get a couple buckets.”
Spurlock, a 6-8, 217-pound forward from Woodbridge, said he was pleased with his performance against the Seminoles.
“I just feel like the more reps on the court, the better I’ll be,” he said. “Hopefully that continues.”
For the season, Spurlock is averaging 2.4 points and 0.7 rebounds, with 4 steals, 4 turnovers, 1 assist and 1 steal. He’s shooting 43.5 percent from floor and 66.7 percent from the line. He’s 2 for 10 from beyond the arc.