Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

College Sports

February 25, 2013

Virginia protects its home court again

Cavaliers get revenge on Ga. Tech

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Akil Mitchell scored 18 points, Joe Harris added 15 and Jontel Evans had eight assists as Virginia shook off a tough loss to Miami Tuesday with an 82-54 win over Georgia Tech Sunday.

With the win, Virginia extended its home winning streak to 15 games, a John Paul Jones Arena record.

“You can certainly feel the energy, that’s what home court is all about,” said Virginia coach Tony Bennett. “It’s nice to see the crowd really rallying behind the guys. It has made a difference, without a doubt.”

Marcus Georges-Hunt led Georgia Tech (14-12, 4-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 12 points. Daniel Miller added 11 points and 11 rebounds.

“Give Tony and that team credit,” said Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory. “Over the last six weeks they’ve been playing just as well, if not better, than anybody in this league. They showed that today.”

A Robert Carter Jr. 3-pointer cut Virginia’s lead to 45-40, but the Cavaliers (19-8, 9-6) responded with a 16-1 run over the next 4-plus minutes to take a 61-41 lead.

Evans converted two drives to the hoop during the surge and freshman Taylor Barnette capped it with back-to-back 3-pointers.

In the first half, Virginia shot 53 percent from the field (16 of 30), but allowed Georgia Tech to shoot 54 percent (13 of 24). The difference was the Yellow Jackets’ 10 turnovers. The Cavaliers had only two.

Virginia led 41-29 at the break.

In the second half, Virginia held Georgia Tech to 35 percent (9 of 26) from the field.

“I just thought we became harder to score against,” said Bennett, whose team hosts Duke on Thursday night. “Our position was better. We made them earn. I thought we blocked out. Akil was really good with his ability to get on the glass.”

Mitchell, who had eight rebounds, said a 66-60 loss in Atlanta to Georgia Tech on Feb. 3 was on everyone’s mind.

“They snuck one in on us and we took it personally,” he said. “I feel like we had something to prove to ourselves, and I think we did that tonight.”

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