Underdog Hampton used scrappiness to hang with Virginia for the first 10 minutes Tuesday night. However, once Cavaliers guards Joe Harris and Justin Anderson hit Hampton with their best stuff, Virginia was on its way to a 69-40 victory in the Corpus Christi Challenge at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.
With senior Harris and sophomore reserve Anderson combining for 18 consecutive points on the front end of a 23-0 run, Virginia (5-1) had the spurt it needed for its fourth straight win. Harris scored 20 points, hitting all seven of his shots from the floor, including four 3-pointers, to lead an offense that hit 51 percent from the floor and eight of 12 shots (67 percent) from beyond the arc.
Anderson scored nine of his 12 points in the first half to go along with his three blocks to lead a potent Virginia bench that also got contributions from sophomore forward Anthony Gill (seven points, four rebounds) and junior forward Darion Atkins (seven points, five rebounds).
Virginia finished with a 42-21 edge on the boards.
In losing for the fourth straight time, Hampton (2-4) was led by reserve guard Dwight Meikle, who had 12 points and six blocked shots.
With the score tied 16-16 midway through the first half, Harris gave Virginia the lead for good and ignited the 23-point run with a 3-pointer off a long rebound. During the spurt, he hit another 3-pointer and had a three-point play in addition to making a steal and scoring on a breakaway layup.
Virginia used its pack-line defense to suffocate Hampton. During a 17-minute, 31-second stretch that bridged the halves, the Pirates made just one field goal in 17 attempts and committed 12 turnovers. Virginia's lead maxed out at 36 with a 3-pointer from walk-on guard Rob Vozenilek.
The Cavaliers improved to 7-0 all-time against Hampton and 21-0 against teams from the MEAC.
Virginia will play Friday night in Corpus Christi, Texas, against Southern Methodist, which is led by legendary coach Larry Brown.