Virginia Wins Its 5th in a Row
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Akil Mitchell had a career-high 20 points and nine rebounds as Virginia defeated Wisconsin-Green Bay 67-51 Saturday.
UVa coach Tony Bennett has now beaten his alma mater in back to back seasons.
Joe Harris added 20 points for Virginia (6-2).
Green Bay (3-4) was led by Alec Burke's 14 points. Keifer Sykes' had 12.
Virginia, coming off a win in the ACC/Big ten Challenge at Wisconsin on Wednesday, shot 50 percent (26 of 52) from the field and held the Phoenix to 34 percent (18 of 53).
Virginia went on 7-2 run to start second half. Green Bay pulled to within four on a three-point play by Kam Cerroni, but the Cavaliers responded with a 15-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 55-38 lead.
Green Bay was more competitive than in last season's game against Virginia in Charlottesville when the Phoenix lost by 26 points.
Notes (courtesy of UVa athletics)
Virginia (6-2) has now won five consecutive games
The Cavaliers had two 20-point scorers (Joe Harris - 20, Akil Mitchell - 20) in a game for the first time since March 4, 2012 at Maryland (Mike Scott -35, Sammy Zeglinski - 20)
Virginia led at the half for the fifth consecutive game
After scoring under 60 points in each of their first three games, the Cavaliers have scored at least 60 points in each of the last five (all wins)
Joe Harris (20 pts) had consecutive 20-point games for the first time in his career
Jontel Evans (2 pts) scored for the first time this season
Evans' five steals are the most by a Cavalier in a game since Sammy Zeglinski had five steals vs. Florida State on Jan. 24, 2009
Evans' seven assists are a single-game high by a Cavalier this season
Player Career Highs
Akil Mitchell scored a career-high 20 points
Darion Atkins had a career-high 11 rebounds
Atkins tied a career high with four blocked shots
Atkins had a career-high three assists
Jontel Evans had a career-high five steals
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett
On opening up in the second half to win by 16 points:
"I think we scored on almost 15 of the first 19 or 20 possessions. I thought we were more patient in the second half. The ball swung outside, but we got it inside. We had a mismatch. Akil (Mitchell) was terrific down there with his moves and his quickness."
On growth of Akil Mitchell and Darion Atkins:
"I talked before about their activity. I didn't think we were really alert or active to start the game defensively, but I thought as it wore on that we got better. They're quick, and they can show on ball screens and get back. That quickness is important. They're not the bulkiest of guys, but they can use their feet and their position to be effective. I like what I'm seeing. Then, when you get some scoring inside off them, or offensive rebounds, it really helps our offense."
On Jontel Evans:
"He was better today in the game. He touched the paint more and he got in there and made better decisions. He had five steals, and I thought he locked in there and guarded. When he settled in on Sykes, that made a difference. We were going to let him finish the game, but I thought it would be good to get Teven in there. As I mentioned before, hopefully he'll keep getting better and better, but his ability to put pressure on the defense and get to the paint, especially after the ball rotates, makes a difference for us. That's where you saw Darion, Akil, and those guys getting some easy buckets."
Green Bay Head Coach Brian Wardle
"Obviously, we didn't put together two halves and Virginia did. I thought in the first half we played pretty smart, played pretty disciplined, and we did some good things. I thought we had some good looks that we can knock down, that we missed, and then in the second half they jumped on us and we struggled to score. It was a tough way to go down in the second half, we obviously didn't shoot the ball well and that has a lot to do with Virginia being a very good defensive team."
On being worn down in the second half:
"I don't know if we were worn down. When I watch the film I can probably figure it out and see more. We knew that going in and we tried to prepare for it. Obviously they're big, they're pretty strong guys, they do a good job of just keeping the ball down in front and making you earn it on every possession, and offensively we didn't do some good things."
Virginia Junior Guard Joe Harris
On Jontel Evans' impact tonight:
"Jontel is huge. He's a great defender and he was All-ACC defense last year. Offensively, he can almost get to the paint at will it seems. It opens up a ton for our offense, especially for guys like me and Paul."
On Akil Mitchell's performance:
"Akil has been great for us all season long. His rebounding has been great. He impacts the glass on both ends and gets us a ton of rebounds. Offensively, he has been working, and credit to our coaching staff for developing. He's almost automatic now with the left hook over his shoulder."
Virginia Senior Guard Jontel Evans
On his performance in Wisconsin:
"Honestly, I was frustrated with myself. It was very selfish of me, because we got a great team win and my team did really well. But, all I could think about was how I didn't play well. Today I took that right step into playing well again."
On his first basket tonight:
"That was crazy. It was funny because Coach Sanchez decided to do it at shoot around. He looked at me and said, 'You can get this, and we're going to look at you.' Evan looked at me, and I threw it up. The last time I posted someone up was the Winthrop game last year."
On the second half play tonight:
"We played really well. We were very unselfish, and we turned down good shots for great shots."
Virginia Junior Forward Akil Mitchell
On his first 20-point game:
"It started at the ACC championship. I've been working hard over the past few years, and the coaches have slowly been giving me more and more confidence. Everything feels good right now."
On his dunk tonight:
"It's good to get a dunk in a game. It feels like I haven't dunked all season. I came down the lane, and I got up in the air. I just thought about dunking, and did it. I haven't seen the highlight, but someone said I double clutched it. It just felt good."