Scott leads No. 19 Virginia over Wake Forest
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Virginia coach Tony Bennett didn’t need to call a single timeout.
That’s how smoothly the No. 19 Cavaliers 68-44 win over Wake Forest went on Wednesday night.
“They were efficient,” coach Tony Bennett said “The ball was moving from side to side. Guys were screening and getting people open. The looks were there. I thought they played together . really on one accord. Same thing defensively. That’s what you hope for. That’s why you practice hard and prepare.
“When it all comes together, it’s nice to see.”
Mike Scott tied a school record by making all nine of his shots and scored 19 points, and Joe Harris added 11 points and three other players were in double figures for the Cavaliers (19-4, 6-3 Atlantic Coast), who ended a six-game losing skid at the hands of the Demon Deacons.
“After the first three or four, I was feeling pretty good,” said Scott, who sat out much of the second half and played only 26 minutes. “I wanted to be aggressive, not trying to force anything. Just taking what the defense is giving to me.”
Travis McKie scored 16 points for Wake Forest (11-13, 2-8), which has dropped five in a row and nine of its past 11. C.J. Harris scored 10.
Leading by 21 at the break after scoring the final 12 points of the half, the Cavaliers put it away by hitting their first six shots of the second period and took a 52-21 lead.
The Cavaliers dominated the opening half, shooting 70.8 percent (17 of 24) from the field and taking a 40-19 lead into the break.
“Virginia did a great job of executing their offense with great intensity,” Wake coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “They made shots and they just kept making shots. That defused our energy. Our players got down on themselves a little bit and it just kept going.
“We thought our length would bother (Scott) but it didn’t. He was just on fire.”
Scott nailed all seven of his attempts from the floor and contributed 15 points in the first 20 minutes.
The Cavaliers cooled off considerably in the second half but still shot 53.7 percent (29 of 54) for the evening. Virginia forced 17 turnovers.
“Our confidence level was really high at the beginning of the game,” said Harris, who connected on his first three shots, all from behind the arc. “Guys were knocking down shots and the team was just feeding off of it at both ends.
“Guys were being real aggressive and that translated over to the defensive end, too.”