No. 8 Virginia crushes Tennessee State, 79-36

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) The first field goal and points of B.J. Stith’s college career came with 9:07 remaining and gave No. 8 Virginia a 42-point lead.

Jeff Jones got his second career basket with 58 seconds left, pushing the Cavaliers’ lead against Tennessee State to 79-34.

On a night when any suspense about the outcome was gone well before the halftime show, the Cavaliers and coach Tony Bennett connected with Virginia’s past Tuesday night in a 79-36 victory against the vastly undermanned Tigers.

Stith, a 6-foot-5 freshman guard, is the son of Bryant Stith, Virginia’s career scoring leader. Jones, a 6-6 sophomore forward, is the son and namesake of the last coach to lead the Cavaliers to the final eight of the NCAA tournament, in 1995.

Both drew loud cheers when they scored Tuesday night, and the significance was not lost on Bennett.

”Being a coach’s son, I understand that obviously when coach Jones was here, the great success they had, and obviously knowing with Ralph Sampson and Bryant Stith, two of the greatest players to ever play here, to hear the crowd appreciate. … It’s respect for their folks, for their dads, and that’s pretty cool,” Bennett said. ”When you walk the halls and look at some of the things and see what they’ve meant to the program, as a coach and certainly as a player, it’s very special.”

Stith’s four points left him 2,512 shy of what his father scored from 1989-92.

”It’s most definitely cool,” B.J. Stith said. ”I love it. That’s why I came here. I just love the atmosphere. I love the fans.”

Jones, a walk-on, admitted to glancing down the bench as the minutes ticked away with an insurmountable lead.

”It’s true. We like to get in the game just like anybody else,” he said, referring to himself and the other members of what Bennett refers to as his Green Machine, or scout team. ”But I think we’re mostly happy that we can get the `W.”’

Justin Anderson was 7 for 7 from the field and scored 20 points and No. 8 Virginia had a 32-point run spanning halftime in the victory. Anderson made five 3-pointers and Mike Tobey added 13 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for the Cavaliers (5-0), off to their best start since the 2007-08 team also won its first five.

Tennessee State (2-3), which has only one returning player and 12 newcomers in coach Dana Ford’s first season, trailed 19-2 after seven minutes and 42-17 at halftime. The Tigers were stuck on 17 until just 12:29 remained in the second half.

”Unbelievably disciplined. Unbelievably tough. They don’t beat themselves,” Ford said of Virginia. ”That’s probably the best team that we’ll play, definitely this year, and probably for the next four or five years.”

Xavier Richards and Marcus Roper led the Tigers with 10 points.

Anthony Gill added 16 points for Virginia and also was perfect from the field, going 6 for 6.

The Cavaliers came into the game having blown out four straight opponents, including George Washington, and allowing the opposition to shoot just 29.4 percent from the field. That was second best in the country.

The Tigers shot 24 percent (6 for 15) in the first half and finished at 29.2 percent (14 for 48).

TIP-INS:

Tennessee State: The Tigers were outrebounded 49-22 and outscored in the paint 40-12.

Virginia: Anderson came into this season a career 29.8 percent shooter on 3-pointers, but has made 15 of 22 through five games.

UP NEXT:

Tennessee State faces St. Peter’s at the Barclays Center in New York.

Virginia faces LaSalle at the Barclays Center in New York.

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