CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Virginia overcame some rust to win its eighth consecutive game, defeating Morgan State 75-57 Wednesday night. Virginia, playing for the first time since beating Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 8, had to withstand a scoring barrage from the Bears' leading scorer, Dewayne Jackson. Jackson produced a game-high 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting, finishing one point short of his career high. He made three of five attempts from 3-point range and all seven of his free throws. Morgan State (3-5) did not have another scorer in double figures. The Cavaliers (9-2) led 55-36 with 12:30 to play, but the Bears cut the lead to 59-50 with 6:55 to go on an Anthony Hubbard layup, capitalizing on some sloppy play from Virginia. Virginia true freshman Evan Nolte was fouled as he hit a floater with 6:03 remaining to push the lead back to double digits for good. It was Nolte's first basket of the game. Forward Darion Atkins led Virginia with a career-high 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Teammate Akil Mitchell added 15 points and 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. The Cavaliers' leading scorer, Joe Harris, had 14 points, while guard Paul Jesperson set a career high with 11. Virginia led 37-28 at halftime, but the Cavaliers had to deal with some adversity in their first game since Dec. 8. Harris was forced to sit the final 13:22 of the first half after picking up two early fouls. The Bears held a 21-18 lead with 9:15 to play in the opening period thanks to a pair of Jackson free throws. The Cavaliers answered with a 15-0 run over the next 5:37 to take control of the game. Jesperson hit two 3-pointers to start the run, and guard Justin Anderson hit a 3-pointer with 3:42 put Virginia up 33-21. Atkins had a team-high 13 points in the first half, one point shy of his career high for an entire game. Fellow big man Mitchell had eight points, five assists and four rebounds. Jackson led all scorers with 19 points in the first half on 5-of-7 shooting while making all three of his 3-point attempts. NOTES: Wednesday's game was the second meeting between the schools. Virginia won the first game 85-66 on Nov. 16, 2006, in Charlottesville. ... Morgan State is 1-14 against ACC opponents. The lone win was a 65-66 triumph Jan. 7, 2009, at Maryland. ... Virginia point guard Jontel Evans missed the game as he continues to rehab from a foot injury. The injury has sidelined him for seven games this season.
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