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Feb. 15, 2016

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Virginia Players Postgame
Tony Bennett Postgame Press Conference

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) Malcolm Brogdon might not have a tougher defensive assignment for the rest of the season than he had on Monday night, and No. 7 Virginia’s fifth-year senior would do well to repeat what he managed against Cat Barber should a similar opportunity ever arise.

”I love playing against great players. He’s a great player, a great scorer,” Brogdon said of Barber (24.1 ppg), who leads the ACC in scoring by a wide margin. ”I don’t know if I was extra juiced up. I’m juiced up every night, but I definitely looked forward to playing him.”

Brogdon scored 22 points, helped limit Barber to 14 and the Cavaliers took command with a 13-2 run in a 73-53 victory.

The game, coming on a the heels of a last-second loss at Duke on Saturday, was the perfect tonic for the Cavaliers, point guard London Perrantes said, and Brogdon led the way in making sure there would be no hangover.

He had seven points in the first 5 minutes and 12 by halftime.

”Malcolm especially takes stuff like that personal,” Perrantes said of the matchup with Barber. ”I think we all took this game pretty personal, especially coming after that loss. He stepped up for us big time tonight. When he starts off strong like that, we just follow behind him.”

Any question that the Cavaliers had moved on was answered as the second half began with the scored tied at 31.

Isaiah Wilkins hit a jumper, Anthony Gill scored his first points of the night on a dunk and Brogdon hit an 18-footer. Brogdon missed a driving layup off a steal, but Gill was there for a putback dunk, and after Caleb Martin’s 3-pointer, Brogdon hit a 3 and Wilkins had a dunk.

The half was less than 5 minutes old and N.C. State had already burned two timeouts.

”We had some shots we didn’t make and they capitalized,” Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said, noting that his team was 0 for 9 on 3-pointers in the half. Virginia was 6 for 9. ”They seemed to really get their offensive clicking. … They were the story. They played terrific.”

Brogdon had five points in the key burst, which broke a 31-all halftime tie. Perrantes added 19 points for Virginia (21-5, 10-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), and Brogdon and Perrantes each also had five assists. The pair was a combined 9 for 15 from 3-point territory.

Isaiah Wilkins grabbed 13 rebounds. The Cavaliers built their lead to as many as 24 points before emptying their bench.

Cat Barber led the Wolfpack (13-13, 3-10) with 14 points, but was just 4 for 11 from the field. Cody Martin added 12 points, Lennard Freeman had nine and BeeJay Anya eight. The Wolfpack shot just 40.4 percent (19-47) while allowing Virginia to shoot 53.7 percent (29-54).

Maverick Rowan, second on the Wolfpack with a 13.1 scoring average, missed nine of 10 shots and scored three points. Adbul-Malik Abu, third with a 12.8 scoring average, had one point and two rebounds in 22 foul-plagued minutes. Caleb Martin, fourth with an 11.0 scoring average, scored six on 1 for 7 shooting.

The Wolfpack scored on their first seven possessions, then had five turnovers, four one-and-done missed shots and a 3-pointer by Caleb Martin on their next 10 trips. One of 16 schools to have played in the last four NCAA tournaments, the Wolfpack will need to put something together down the stretch, or win the ACC tournament, to extend that streak.

Gill, Virginia’s No. 2 scorer (14.2) got his first points on a dunk at the 18:14 mark of the second half. He finished with six. Virginia turned 12 turnovers into 20 points.

Justin Anderson, who left Virginia after last season to enter the NBA Draft, was in the crowd. He’s spent some of the season with the Dallas Mavericks and some with their developmental league team.

Up next, Virginia plays at Miami next Monday night.

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