CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Joe Harris scored 18 points and Virginia used an early 22-5 run to take command on its way to a 78-66 victory against Florida State on Saturday and a sweep of its season series against the Seminoles.
--------------- To see the box score CLICK HERE ------------------------
Malcolm Brogdon added 16 points for the Cavaliers (13-5, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won 62-50 at Florida State on Jan. 4. The sweep is the first for the Cavaliers since the 2000-01 season.
Okaro White and Aaron Thomas scored 15 each for Florida State (12-5, 3-2). The Seminoles arrived second in the ACC defensively, allowing teams to make just 36.3 percent of their field goal attempts, but the Cavaliers shot better than 55 percent in the first half in bolting to 45-26 lead by halftime.
The Cavaliers also closed the half with an 11-3 burst that featured five points from Akil Mitchell.
The Seminoles trailed by as many as 21 in the second half, and got no closer than 12, including in the final minute when Virginia's Justin Anderson was assessed a technical foul for hanging on the rim after a dunk. During some brief confusion on the court, words were exchanged, and the Cavaliers' Darion Atkins and Teven Jones were ejected for leaving the bench.
After the game, as the Seminoles lined up to head for their locker room, words were exchanged again and the teams came together again, but coaches seemed to control the situation and the teams went to their locker rooms without incident.
Virginia used the same blueprint in the rematch as it had in Tallahassee, but this time had the benefit of having Harris in the lineup. In Florida, Harris sustained a concussion after just two minutes on the court and watched the rest of the game as Justin Anderson and London Perrantes took charge.
This time, he had 10 points by halftime and finished the game 6-for-8 with four 3-pointers in five attempts.
After an opening 3-pointer by Devon Bookert for the Seminoles, Virginia scored 22 of the next 27 points. Brogdon had eight and he and Justin Anderson both hit 3-pointers, while the Seminoles turned the ball over at least three times and went more than six minutes between their first field goal and second.
The Seminoles also turned the ball over 18 times, leading to 26 points for the Cavaliers.
Team Notes (Courtesy of UVa athletics)
• At 4-1, Virginia is off to its best ACC start since 1994-95 (4-1)
• The Cavaliers swept both games of the season series against Florida State for the first time since 2000-01
• It is the third time UVa has swept both games of the season series with FSU, but the first time winning both games by double digits
• Virginia won its 11th consecutive ACC home game (tying the longest active streak in the league – Duke)
• The Cavaliers' 78 points are their most against Florida State since an 87-82 overtime loss at University Hall on Jan. 11, 2006
• After Florida State scored the first three points of the game, Virginia went on a 14-0 run
Player Career Highs
• Malcolm Brogdon had a career-high six assists
• Brogdon tied a career high with four steals
• Joe Harris (18 pts) scored in double figures for the 12th time this season (81st time in his career)
• Malcolm Brogdon (16 pts) scored in double figures for a career-best fifth straight game and the 11th time this season (16th career)
• Mike Tobey (13 pts) scored in double figures for the seventh time this season (16th career)
• Justin Anderson (10 pts) scored in double figures for the 11th time this season (23rd career)
Updated Virginia Record Book
• Joe Harris (221 3-pointers) moved into a fourth-place tie on Virginia's career 3-point FG list, tying J.R. Reynolds (221 3-pointers, 2004-07)
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett
On the last 10 seconds of the game:
"That doesn't take away from the quality of play. Things happen in the heat of battle and I'll have to take a look at it. It was unfortunate. I don't think we were trying to disrespect anybody. There was a six, seven seconds difference on the shot clock and we threw the alley-oop because we needed to get a shot up. I wish we could've finished better down the stretch and we maybe wouldn't have been in that spot, but I have a great respect for Leonard [Hamilton] and his team. They play hard and we played well for the most part, and hopefully that was just a little bit of a mirage. I told my guys they are lovers not fighters. The best way to respond is to play as well as you can. I didn't see what happened on the handshake line at the end. What's done is done and it's time to move on."
On Joe Harris:
"Look at his stat line — he was very solid. He hit that big three when we needed it at the end. He was in good rhythm. He is playing very efficient and I know sometimes it is like he isn't getting enough shots but he is being guarded hard and he is getting shots for other guys, and he is very efficient. He was moving hard and was very sharp today. I liked our defense in the first half. I thought that was a good first half on both sides of the ball."
On FSU's 18 turnovers:
"The first time we played them they had some too. Some of it I hope is our defense, but I'm sure some of it is unforced turnovers and I think the points off turnovers helped us last time we played them. If we can be sound and be in positions sometimes guys don't see things. We had some nice post traps and we did create some [turnovers] out of our defense."
On Malcolm Brogdon:
"He has been solid since we started ACC play. He has shown his completeness in terms of taking care of the ball and guarding. His size and strength have helped. He hit a couple nice floaters and pull-ups. He seems more comfortable on the floor early. I don't know if that is just your red-shirt that takes a little bit of time but he certainly has played back-to-back quality games."
On starting the three-game homestand with a win:
"We've been playing good ball. I told our guys before and I'll continue to say it: After the Tennessee game we didn't say to ourselves, well, now we have to go to Florida State and get a win and then we have to come home and get a win against Wake Forest and then we have to go to NC State and get a win. It was about play the right way for us. Play the right way and focus on the quality. The outcome takes care of itself. That is the process-oriented approach that all teams, I think, should have and we have to have. It is about the quality of our play—taking care of the ball, getting good shots, getting back and doing the little things we say help us be successful. When you take care of that and don't worry so much about the big picture I think we're in a better place. And I think that is what the guys did today and what they responded to."
On playing well at the beginning of games:
"I think everything has clicked in the terms of solid defense. They guys have shot it well and we've had a certain level of composure and patience. We are getting good looks and the guys have been ready. There has been an edge to them and there has been a sense of urgency. What hurts you in starts is when you allow the other team easy shots or you have breakdowns. Sometimes you'll hit shots but when you're in the right spots and making them earn their tough shots, which helps you a lot. Your defense gets you off to a good start, but offense you might have to find a little bit. But how we start defensively has been the difference recently."
Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton
On Virginia's Success:
"You have to give Coach Bennett and his team an awful lot of credit. The score does not indicate how well they played in this game. They did an outstanding job of executing their offense and I'm not sure that our defense was a bad as the percentages might indicate, because I thought they made good shots, they made tough shots. We had a lot of the same looks on the other end and we couldn't get ours to fall. They just made good shots. They were on, they felt comfortable, and they were in rhythm with their offense. They executed and we did not seem to disrupt them. They were on point and were not going to allow us to get them out of rhythm. They run excellent offense, and then when their guys are shooting well in the system, and we are turning the ball over, it is not a good combination. It's a good formula to lose a basketball game. It was not necessarily about us today. They played an exceptionally good basketball game. We didn't play good enough defense to match their offense."
On Virginia's style and play:
"It's their system, I don't think its one particular player. They are comfortable now. They are in rhythm, they are patient enough and getting high percentage shots, and that's what good offense will do for you. When you add that with making tough shots and contested shots along with high percentage shots, that's a very good formula for success. And today they had our number, they've had our number twice."
On Joe Harris' impact:
"Once again, I think they are a good basketball team, and it is their system that makes them go. As much respect that I have for Joe – and he is an outstanding player - when you have a system you can take one player out of the system, and if everyone keeps executing and taking high percentage shots they give the best chance to win. I think it is the team, not any one particular player. That is why they are playing so well. They bought into playing for each other and moving the ball until the best opportunity comes. Now Joe shot unbelievably well, 4–for-5. Now anytime someone shoots 4 for 5 from 3-point range, that's a good day and your team is going to be better. They are executing their system so well that it would not matter if he were 1-for-5. We were not solid enough defensively to get them out of their rhythm. We didn't get enough deflection or steals, and then when we did apply good defense, they made tough shots."
On the game's ejections:
"I know Coach Bennett is a class act and he works very hard to keep his kids disciplined in the ACC. We've been down [in Tallahassee] 12 years and have had very little instances when our kids have responded in a negative way. I think sometimes things happen and you got to learn from it, grow from it and move on. I don't think his kid meant any disrespect and I don't think our kid meant any disrespect. I know we will deal with it appropriately and I'm sure he will. I hope that it doesn't take away from how well they played. I told my players that it was about nothing in reality."
Virginia Center Mike Tobey
On UVa's success inside:
"I thought we did a good job with our offensive spacing and got a lot of open looks in the middle of the lane that came off screens and slips. Overall, I think we hand a good game."
On Florida State's length and interior defense:
"They're one of the toughest teams in the ACC to face inside. I struggled a little bit and they blocked a few of my shots. Their length is ridiculous - you pump fake once and get one guy, then there's another guy coming right down. They're one of the toughest teams, if not the toughest team, to face inside."
On his struggles finishing at the rim:
"I just need to keep going up strong. It's a little bit frustrating, but there's nothing more that you can do than just go and work on it some more."
Virginia Guard Joe Harris:
On his shot selection:
"You have to trust the offense and that your teammates are going to be patient with it and work the ball to get a good shot. Coach talks about tracking certain guys and if I'm on the baseline trying to move my guy - that they will see me trying to come off screens, and we were able to get some open looks tonight."
On UVa's 4-1 start in the ACC:
"There's still a lot to accomplish. 4-1 is nice, but there's a lot of the season left."
On Florida State's frustration levels:
"They seemed like they were pretty frustrated throughout the game. That's part of basketball - guys will jaw at one another and sometimes it gets physical. It just got a little out of hand there at the end, especially with the situation. The game was over and none of the stuff is necessary."
On UVa's 2-0 sweep of FSU this year
"We played against them the first conference game, right after Tennessee, so I think we looked at that like a statement game. We went into a tough environment, Florida State has been playing well all year and is a tough team and one of the best defensive team year in, year out. Coming into that game it was important to start off conference play with a win coming off a tough loss at Tennessee."
Virginia Forward Akil Mitchell
On defeating Florida State for the second time this season:
"We knew they were trying to get this bounce-back game, and we wanted to win, too. After what happened at Duke, we were really excited to be back to play at home. It was really a clash of the titans here, and we came out on top."
On the team getting off to a good start in the first half:
"I can't tell you what's behind it, I don't know. Everyone is just locked in and focused from the beginning. When everybody is on their assignments from the jump, it makes the game so much easier. The team we're playing gets frustrated early and we can play our style of defense."
On the play of Joe Harris:
"When he's stretching the floor and hitting big shots and finding people, it helps us a lot."
Virginia Guard Malcolm Brogdon
On strong start to ACC play:
"I think we have a bunch of guys on our team that are starting to buy in and buy into their roles. We believe in Coach Bennett and he believes in us. He allows his players a lot of freedom and allows us to play to our abilities."
On confrontation with Florida State towards the end of the game:
"I didn't really see much. I heard one guy push London [Perrantes] and guys started getting into it. All that stuff is not important. We went out there and won. I guess the other team just got angry."
On Virginia's offensive performance:
"We are starting to play inside-out, getting the big men going first, and then the guards get opened up. I think that's been key for us. Getting out in transition has resulted from the stops we get on defense."
Florida State Guard Aaron Thomas
On today's game:
"We need to be more patient. In the games before this we were able to move the ball. They did a good job of that. We need to watch film and see what we need and move on."
On Virginia's success:
"They were able to hit shots. We just didn't do a good job, defensively or offensively. We didn't play well as a team."
On moving forward this season:
"We need to try to keep our composure. When we move the ball and have good movement we are a good team. Like I said, we need to look at film and see what we need to do to get better and move forward in the ACC."