Virginia 80, Mount St. Mary’s 71
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP)—Three freshmen scored all of Virginia’s points during a 19-8 second-half run Sunday night and the Cavaliers won their season opener 80-71 against Mount St. Mary’s.
Gary Forbes and Donte Minter had nine points each in the run, which started on a free throw by J.R. Reynolds and turned a tenuous 47-44 lead into a 66-52 advantage with 8:47 remaining.
The Mountaineers (0-4) used a 6-for-6 start to the second half to get within 47-44 on Landy Thompson’s 3-pointer with 16:55 to play. But Mount St. Mary’s then went nearly nine minutes without a field goal while the newest Cavaliers made their run.
Virginia was playing without tri-captain Devin Smith, who has a back injury, and Jason Clark, who has not been with the team all year for reasons coach Pete Gillen has declined to discuss.
That put the onus on the freshmen to carry much of the load, and they responded. After Reynolds’ free throw, Forbes made a steal and drove for a big dunk, followed with a three-point play and added two more baskets. Minter, meanwhile, kept several balls alive underneath and scored on a series of veteran-looking moves in the low post, once taking a bounce pass through traffic from Reynolds for a lay-in.
The Cavaliers built their lead to 72-56 with 3:38 left, but the Mountaineers scored 10 straight points before Virginia ended the run.
Forbes led Virginia with 21 points, Todd Billet had 13, Minter 12, Derrick Byars 11 and Elton Brown 10.
Kiel Butler led Mount St. Mary’s with 26, points and Thompson had 18.
The Cavaliers led 39-32 at halftime.