The Virginia basketball team continued its improved play in the NIT Season Tip-Consolation at John Paul Jones Arena, earning wins against Lamar and North Texas in the last week.
Virginia (4-2, 0-0 ACC) cruised to a 63-44 victory against Lamar (1-5, 0-0 Southland) Monday on the strength of junior guard Joe Harris’ game-high 17 points.
The Cavaliers held their opponent under 20 first-half points for the second straight game and held a commanding 32-18 advantage at the break. Harris’ 3-pointer with 10 minutes remaining in the first half capped a 13-0 run and gave Virginia a 24-6 lead.
Junior forward Akil Mitchell was the only other Cavalier in double-figures. He finished with 10 points and eight rebounds, narrowly missing what would have been his third straight double-double. Mitchell also was a perfect six-for-six from the free throw line. Virginia made all 11 of its attempts from the charity stripe.
Virginia’s improved play continued early Tuesday against North Texas as the Cavaliers raced to a 14-2 lead against the Mean Green and never looked back. The Cavaliers led by 20 points at halftime and weathered a second-half North Texas rally for an 80-64 victory, the team’s third straight win. Virginia made eight-of-11 3-pointers on the night.
Five different players scored in double-figures and three freshmen reached career-highs in points. Freshman guard Justin Anderson led the way with 14 points, redshirt freshman guard Teven Jones added 13 points and four assists in his second career start and freshman forward Evan Nolte scored 13 points. Sophomore forward Darion Atkins also finished with career-highs with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Virginia will travel to Madison, Wisconsin to play Wisconsin (4-2, 0-0 Big Ten) Wednesday.