UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Freshman Casey Morsell (Fort Washington, Md.) scored a career-high 19 points to lead No. 7 Virginia’s (6-0) comeback victory over Arizona State (3-2), 48-45 to take the Air Force Reserve Tip-Off Championship.
It is the seventh straight November tournament championship for the Cavaliers. Morsell and Mamadi Diakite (Conakry, Guinea, Africa) were named to the All-Tournament Team. Diakite added 15 points against the Sun Devils.
UVA held its fifth opponent to under 50 points this season. It was the lowest score of the year for Arizona State.
Braxton Key (Charlotte, N.C.) and Jay Huff (Durham, N.C.) led the team in rebounds with eight and seven, respectively. The Cavaliers outrebounded the Sun Devils, 31-26. Arizona State shot 40 percent from the field, while UVA was 37 percent from the field and 31 percent from 3-point range.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Diakite hit a three to start the scoring and UVA quickly jumped out to an 8-2 advantage. A three by Chase Coleman (Norfolk, Va.) and a Morsell layup put the Cavaliers up 20-10 with 4:00 remaining in the first half. Morsell scored the last eight points for UVA in the first half. Arizona State scored five points in the final 30 seconds as UVA had a 26-21 lead at the half.
Virginia suffered a 9:43 scoring drought, while ASU went on a 19-0 run during that span of the first and second halves. UVA’s first points of the second half came off a Key layup at the 13:09 mark. The Cavaliers used a 13-4 run to retake the lead with 3:21 to go. ASU tied it up twice, but Morsell answered with a jumper and then a three-pointer to seal the victory.
THE GAME BALL GOES TO
Casey Morsell’s career-high 19 points led the Cavaliers and he scored the game-winning basket with a minute to go. He was 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
• UVA has started 6-0 for the fourth straight season
• The Cavaliers have captured seven straight November tournament championships (Emerald Coast Classic, Charleston Classic, Barclays Center Classic, Corpus Christi Challenge, NIT Season Tip-Off, Battle 4 Atlantis and Air Force Reserve Tip Off Tournament)
• UVA is 5-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 50 points (92-2 all-time under Bennett)
• UVA out-rebounded its fifth opponent, owning a 31-26 advantage vs. Arizona State
• UVA forced two shot clock violations
UVA returns home to host Maine on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 4 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network.