CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP)—Freshman Justin Anderson scored 14 points, and freshmen Teven Jones and Evan Nolte added 13 each as Virginia defeated North Texas 80-64 in NIT consolation action on Tuesday night.
Virginia (4-2) shot 59 percent from the field (27 of 46), including 73 percent from 3-point range (8 of 11), and held North Texas to 36 percent (21 of 58).
“I thought (we) came out with a lot of energy,” said Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “The first half was the best half of basketball that we’ve put out there this year. I thought (we) were very active on the defensive end.”
After trailing by 20 at the half, North Texas, using a full-court press, whittled the lead to nine on a 3-point play by Jordan Williams, but Virginia responded with a 10-2 run to pull away.
The spurt was highlighted by Anderson, who had six of the points and a block of a Williams’ layup attempt that ignited the charge.
“I got beat defensively,” Anderson said. “It was a defensive breakdown. Luckily, I got to use my athleticism that I was blessed with to recover.
“It kind of surprised me for a second. I didn’t even know that I did that for a second until I saw the ball go out of bounds. It was just an instinctive play, and thank God for my athleticism.”
Virginia, just like it did in its easy win over Lamar on Monday night, jumped out to a quick lead. Jones scored five points, and Joe Harris nailed a 3-pointer as Virginia went up 11-2.
North Texas managed just one field goal in the game’s first six minutes.
Nolte scored eight of his 13 points, which included two 3-pointers, to give Virginia a 32-14 lead. His other bucket came on a nice backdoor pass from Darion Atkins that he converted into a layup.
On one offensive sequence, Atkins was rejected twice but stayed with the play and picked up a deuce when Mitchell was called for goaltending.
Virginia had five players score in double figures.
Tony Mitchell led North Texas (3-3) with 16 points.
“They had a great game plan and came out and took us out of a lot of things we wanted to do,” said North Texas coach Tony Benford. “They did a good job doubling Tony Mitchell, and Chris Jones, who has been playing really well. They did a great job executing on the offensive end.”