Second Half Surge Gives Virginia a 67-54 Win at Oregon
EUGENE, Oregon-Senior forward Mike Scott scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Virginia men’s basketball team to a 67-54 victory at Oregon on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 18).
The double-double was Scott’s fourth of the season and the 28th of his career.
The victory was the seventh in a row for the Cavaliers and improved their record to 9-1 on the season. The loss dropped Oregon’s record to 6-3. UVa is 9-1 for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
The Cavaliers have held all 10 of their opponents this season to under 60 points. Eight of Virginia’s 10 opponents have scored their season low against the Cavaliers, including Oregon.
Sophomore guard Joe Harris scored 15 points and had five rebounds for Virginia, while junior guard Jontel Evans had 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and one steal. Senior guard Sammy Zeglinski and freshman guard Malcolm Brogdon each added nine points for the Cavaliers.
Senior guard Devoe Joseph was the only player to score in double figures for Oregon with 16 points.
Joseph scored 10 of his points in the first half to lead the Ducks to a 30-28 halftime lead. Brogdon led Virginia in the first half with seven points.
Scott had two fouls in the first half and only played nine minutes. He scored four points and had five rebounds. As a team Virginia did not shoot a free throw in the first half and Zeglinski, sophomore forward Akil Mitchell and senior center Assane Sene also had two fouls each.
“That is college basketball, being able to go on the road and handle some adversity,” said Virginia head coach Tony Bennett after the game. “Whether that is foul trouble or just poor play.
“I thought our transition defense stunk in the first half. Then we recommitted in the second half. I said if we are going to have a chance at this game, they have to play against a set defense, which is what we work on. They are good in transition, and we had to recalibrate and get ourselves in a better situation.”
A 7-0 run early in the second half gave UVa the lead for good at 35-32 with 17:06 left in the game. Evans scored four points in the run.
The Cavaliers still led by three points (48-45) with 9:37 remaining and then out-scored the Ducks 15-3 over a span of 5:35 to take a 63-48 lead with 4:02 left to play. Scott scored seven points in that Virginia run and Oregon got no closer than 13 points the remainder of the game.
“He had a slow first half with the foul trouble,” Bennett said when asked about Scott’s play. “In the second half he was good, grabbed some offensive rebounds and did a good job at the foul line. His experience showed today.”
Bennett was also pleased with the play of Evans.
“He worked really hard on something a lot of people don’t work on this summer – finishing – driving and touch,” Bennett said. “He worked on getting his shot a little more consistent, along with free throws. We really challenged him with get better at your floaters, your drives, your plays off the glass. He went to work on that and has much better touch going to the rim.”
After shooting 38.7 percent (12-31) from the field in the first half, the Cavaliers shot 54.2 percent (13-24) in the second half and finished the game shooting 45.5 percent (25-55) from the field, including 6-15 (40.0 percent) from three-point range. Virginia shot 84.6 percent (11-13) from the free-throw line.
Oregon shot 42.6 percent (23-54) from the field for the game, including 20.0 percent (3-15) from three-point range, and 35.7 percent (5-14) from the free-throw line.
UVa out-rebounded Oregon 39-25.
Virginia concludes its two-game road trip to the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday (Dec. 21) when the Cavaliers play at Seattle. Game time at KeyArena is 10 p.m. Eastern time.