CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Virginia won for the third time in four nights as it defeated North Texas 80-64 in the consolation round of the NIT Season Tip-Off on Tuesday. The Cavaliers (4-2) are rolling offensively. Virginia is averaging 75.3 points in its past three games after failing to reach the 60-point plateau in any of its first three games. The Cavaliers shot 58.7 percent (27-for-46) from the floor against North Texas (3-2). Virginia built a 42-22 halftime lead, making six of eight 3-point attempts. The Cavaliers had six players score at least five points in the opening period, and eight of the nine players who saw the floor had an assist. "I think this is the most unselfish team that I've ever played with," Virginia freshman guard Justin Anderson said. "Guys are making the extra pass, and that's what made it beautiful basketball in the first half. We made extra passes for guys to get easy layups, for guys to get easy jump shots." Anderson led five Virginia players in double figures with 14 points. Redshirt freshman point guard Teven Jones and freshman forward Evan Nolte each had 13 points. Guard Joe Harris added 12 points, and forward Darion Atkins finished with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds. "I thought they came out with a lot of energy," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said of his players. "I thought the first half was the best half of basketball that we've put out there. I thought they were very active on the defensive end, swarming the ball, bothering the post." The Cavaliers also have benefited greatly once again from the presence of Jones, a true point guard who continued to impress in just his third game for Virginia. Jones was suspended for the opener against George Mason and missed the next two games with a back injury. "I am pleasantly surprised," Bennett said of Jones' play. "I always knew he was quick, but we haven't seen him play a whole lot in a game setting. ... For him to be able to step in and contribute the way he did was great." North Texas cut the lead to nine six times midway through the second half, using full-court pressure to rattle the Cavaliers. The Mean Green forced 11 second-half turnovers after forcing three in the first half. "Handling that pressure, we got rattled," Bennett said. "We didn't do a good job. Just some mental breakdowns, and we weren't real solid." However, North Texas never closed the gap any further after intermission. Mean Green leading scorer Tony Mitchell, a highly regarded NBA prospect, faced double-teams the majority of the night, but he produced a game-high 16 points and nine rebounds. He scored 11 points in the second half. "In the first half, you might say, 'Well, the Mitchell kid is talented, but I'm not sure,'" Bennett said. "Then, when he gets going, he can be a load. I thought we did a great job in that first half with energy." Mitchell had just two field-goal attempts in the first half. First-year North Texas coach Tony Benford said Mitchell at times "takes himself out of the play," and that is the last thing he wants to see. "Sometimes, he's too unselfish for me," Benford said. "I'm like, 'Man, shoot the ball.' He probably passed up about seven shots tonight. I want him shooting the ball 15 to 20 times a game. He's going to have to do that if we're going to be successful this season." For the game, Virginia limited North Texas to 36.2 percent shooting (21-for-58), 15.8 percent (3-for-19) from beyond the arc. Guard Jordan Williams had 12 points, and Alzee Williams added 11 for the Mean Green. "They had a great game plan," Benford said. "They came out and took us out of a lot of things that we wanted to do." NOTES: Virginia senior point guard Jontel Evans sat out for the fifth time this season with a foot injury. Sophomore guard Malcolm Brogdon has missed all six of Virginia's games, also with a foot injury. ... Tuesday's game was the first meeting between the schools.
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