Cavaliers Top Miami 52-51 in ACC Opener
CHARLOTTESVILLE-Senior forward Mike Scott scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Virginia to a 52-51 victory over Miami in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams Saturday night (Jan. 7) at John Paul Jones Arena.
The victory improved UVa’s overall record to 14-1 and the Cavaliers have now won 12 consecutive games. It’s the first time Virginia has been 14-1 and has won as many as 12 games in a row since the 1981-82 season. Going back to last season, the Cavaliers have also won their last 10 home games.
In this week’s national rankings, the Cavaliers are No. 21 in The Associated Press poll and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
The loss broke a four-game winning streak for the Hurricanes who are now 9-5 on the season.
Sophomore forward/center Kenny Kadji led Miami with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, and junior guard Durand Scott scored 12 points and had three assists.
After the Hurricanes took the lead for the first time in the second half on a basket by Kadji with 4:03 left to play, Virginia scored five consecutive points to regain the lead. Senior guard Sammy Zeglinski gave the Cavaliers the lead for good with a three-point basket with 3:49 left in the game and junior guard Jontel Evans followed with a basket to increase the lead to 50-46 with 2:59 remaining.
Miami got within one point (52-51) on a three-point play by Scott with 33 seconds left and the Hurricanes got the ball back when UVa sophomore guard Joe Harris missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with 18 seconds left in the game. Scott missed a shot for Miami with one second remaining to play.
UVa led by nine points at halftime. After Miami jumped to a 10-4 lead with 13:19 left in the first half, the Cavaliers used a 13-2 run to take a 17-12 lead with 4:39 remaining before halftime. Scott had seven points in that Virginia run.
Virginia then scored the last six points of the half to take a 26-17 halftime lead.
Scott was the only player to score in double figures for the Cavaliers. Evans and Zeglinski each scored six points for Virginia and Evans had a game-high four assists. Sophomore forward Akil Mitchell had seven rebounds for UVa.
The Cavaliers have now won there last four ACC openers.
Senior guard Malcolm Grant had eight points and five rebounds for Miami, and junior center Reggie Johnson scored seven points and had nine rebounds.
Virginia shot 38.2 percent (21-55) from the field, including 30.8 percent (4-13) from three-point range, and 60.0 percent (6-10) from the free-throw line. UVa forced 12 Miami turnovers and turned the ball over only seven times.
Miami shot 35.3 percent (18-51) from the field, including 29.4 percent (5-17) from three-point range, and 76.9 percent (10-13) from the free-throw line. The Hurricanes out-rebounded the Cavaliers 37-33.
Virginia returns to action on Thursday (Jan. 12) when the Cavaliers play at Duke. That game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.