Junior guard Joe Harris did not wait long to reestablish himself as the Virginia basketball team’s most prolific scorer. One night after tallying a season-low seven points, Harris led the Cavaliers to a second straight blowout victory against Lamar with a game-high 17 points.
Virginia (3-2, 0-0 ACC) cruised to a 63-44 victory against Lamar (0-4, 0-0 Southland) Monday in the first of two games at John Paul Jones Arena in the NIT Season Tip-Off Consolation round.
The Cavaliers held their opponent under 20 first-half points for the second straight game, racing out to a commanding 32-18 halftime advantage. Harris’ 3-pointer with 10 minutes remaining in the first half capped a 13-0 run and gave Virginia a 24-6 advantage. The junior made 3-of-5 3-pointers and added five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. He also led the team in scoring for the fourth time in five games.
Virginia continued its dominance in the second half. Freshman guard Justin Anderson’s dunk off an assist by fellow redshirt freshman guard Teven Jones with 11:39 remaining in the game gave Virginia a 51-24 lead, its largest of the evening. Lamar pulled within 16 points with slightly more than four minutes remaining, but the Cardinals climbed no closer.
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 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Virginia made all 11 of its attempts from the charity stripe.
Lamar shot just 33 percent from the field and finished with 14 turnovers compared to just 15 made field goals. Senior forward Stan Brown led the Cardinals with 11 points on 3-of-7 shooting.
Virginia will host North Texas Tuesday.