Cavaliers defeat Seminoles without Harris, win ACC opener
The Virginia men’s basketball won its sixth consecutive ACC season opener Saturday against Florida State, defeating the Seminoles 62-50 in Tallahassee and rebounding from its second-most lopsided defeat ever under coach Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers ended a 17-game losing streak in the state of Florida, notching their first victory in the state since a 69-66 win against the Seminoles Feb. 17, 2001.
Virginia (10-4, 1-0 ACC) had to manage without senior guard and leading scorer Joe Harris, who left the game at the 17:37 mark in the first half after banging his head on senior forward Akil Mitchell’s knee as he fell to the floor. Harris failed the sideline concussion test and did not return.
In his absence, sophomore guard Justin Anderson came off the bench to lead the Cavaliers in scoring for the fourth straight game with 16 points, while freshman point guard London Perrantes tallied a career-best 14 points, shooting 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. Mitchell recorded a season-high 13 rebounds and matched his season-high 11 points for his first double-double of the season.
Anderson and Perrantes each scored 10 first-half points to propel the Cavaliers to a 30-17 halftime lead. The Cavaliers extended their lead to 22 points by the 11:07 mark in the second half, and then weathered a 23-8 Seminole run to notch their first true road win of the season.
Senior forward Okaro White led Florida State (9-4, 0-1 ACC) with 15 points and 7 rebounds, but the Seminoles could not overcome 16 turnovers that translated into 24 points for Virginia. The Cavaliers committed a season-low six turnovers, yet continued to be plagued by free-throw shooting woes. The team shot 54.5 percent from the line, including Mitchell’s particularly dismal 3-of-10 mark.
The Cavaliers continue conference play Wednesday at John Paul Jones Arena, where they host Wake Forest at 7 p.m.