Sene's Tip-In Leads Cavaliers Over Norfolk State
CHARLOTTESVILLE-Junior center Assane Sene tipped in a missed free throw with 4.8 seconds remaining in the game to give the Virginia men’s basketball team a 50-49 victory over Norfolk State Monday night (Dec. 20) at John Paul Jones Arena.
The victory was the fifth in a row for the Cavaliers who improved to 8-3 on the season and are now 5-0 at home. Norfolk State lost its seventh consecutive game and dropped to 1-8.
Virginia held an opponent under 50 points for the third consecutive game. It’s the first time UVa has done that since the 1948-49 season.
Senior forwards Mike Scott and Will Sherrill did not play in the game for Virginia because of injuries. Scott missed his second consecutive game while Sherrill has missed the Cavaliers’ last four games.
Senior guard Mustapha Farrakhan scored a game-high 18 points and was the only Virginia player to score in double figures. Senior guard Rob Hampton led Norfolk State with 17 points and junior guard/forward Chris McEachin had 11 points for the Spartans.
Two free throws by Hampton with 23 seconds remaining to play gave Norfolk State a 49-48 lead. Red-shirt junior guard Sammy Zeglinski missed a three-pointer for Virginia, but freshman guard KT Harrell grabbed the offensive rebound for UVa and was fouled. Harrell missed both of his free throws, but Sene tipped in the second miss to provide the Cavaliers with the victory.
UVa led 17-10 with 8:07 left in the first half, but a 10-3 Norfolk State run capped by a layup by junior center Kyle O’Quinn tied the game at 20-20 with 18 seconds remaining in the half. Hampton scored six points and O’Quinn four in the Spartans’ surge.
A basket by Farrakhan with seven seconds to go before halftime gave the Cavaliers a 22-20 lead at the break.
Virginia led 30-26 with 14:33 left in the game. The Spartans then out-scored the Cavaliers 12-3 over a span of 3:41 to take a 38-33 lead with 10:52 remaining to play. McEachin scored seven points during that stretch for Norfolk State, including two consecutive three-point field goals to start the run.
UVa responded with an 8-2 surge that included three-point field goals by freshman guard Joe Harris and Zeglinski, and a layup by freshman forward Will Regan. Regan’s basket gave the Cavaliers a 41-40 lead with 8:30 to play.
After Norfolk State regained the lead at 45-41, baskets by Farrakhan and Harrell tied the game at 45-45 with 5:32 to play. A layup by junior guard/forward Rodney McCauley put the Spartans ahead by two with 1:47 left in the game, but Farrakhan’s three-pointer with 1:30 remaining gave the Cavaliers a 48-47 lead and set the stage for the final minute of play.
Harrell finished with nine points for Virginia and Sene had a game-high 12 rebounds.
O’Quinn had nine points and a team-high 11 rebounds for the Spartans.
Virginia shot 35.2 percent (19-54) from the field, including 31.8 percent (7-22) from three-point range, and 50.0 percent (5-10) from the free throw line in the game.
Norfolk State shot 30.4 percent (17-56) from the field, including 12.5 percent (2-16) from three-point range, and 72.2 percent (13-18) from the free throw line. The Spartans out-rebounded UVa 42-36.
It was the first men’s basketball game between Virginia and Norfolk State.
UVa returns to action on Wednesday (Dec. 22) when the Cavaliers host Seattle University at John Paul Jones Arena. That game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and will be the fourth of eight consecutive home games for Virginia.