Second Half Surge Powers UVA Past BC - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Second Half Surge Powers UVA Past BC

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The Virginia men's basketball team hit 77% of their shots from the field in the 2nd half, as UVA beat Boston College 65-51 Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena.

The win is the third in a row for the Cavaliers (14-5, 4-2 ACC).

The 'Hoos trailed 26-24 at halftime, but connected on 17 of their 22 shot attempts in the final 20 minutes, outscoring the Eagles 41-25.

Head coach Tony Bennett says, "Your offense can come and go, that's why it's nice to have different guys step up, but defensively you have to be so solid. I thought our defense held us in there while we labored offensively."

"Defense is something you have to do in this program, otherwise you're not going to play," says freshman Paul Jesperson.  "I try to be locked in defensively every game."

"The first half didn't go as we expected," says junior forward Akil Mitchell, "but we knew if we got rolling, it would be a good half for us offensively.  Once we got going, it's just kind of 'Blackout,' and everything starts to fall for you."

Mitchell scored 16 points in the game, while senior point guard Jontel Evans dished out 6 assists.

"Those two games that we lost, to Wake Forest and Clemson, none of us were focused," says Evans.  "We weren't paying attention to detail.  Now guys are locked in.  These last few games our focus has been unbelievable."

Freshman Justin Anderson scored 16 points off the bench for UVA.

"It's all built on trust," says Anderson.  "I trust these guys, they're a great group of guys to be around.  I think we're starting to understand what it takes.  Now that we understand what it takes, we just want to try to continue to get big wins."

Mitchell adds, "We're playing good ball now, and we picked the perfect time to get hot, because we have so many games coming back to back. It's a good run."

Virginia will host preseason ACC favorite NC State Tuesday at 7 pm.

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