CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Akil Mitchell and Anthony Gill both scored 15 points and No. 14 Virginia used a 30-5 second-half run to blow open a close game and beat Notre Dame 70-49 on Saturday, the Cavaliers' 11th consecutive victory.
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Justin Anderson helped fuel the run by blocking a dunk attempt by Notre Dame's Zach Auguste, bringing a sellout crowd at John Paul Jones Arena to its feet. The victory gave Virginia (23-5, 14-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) 14 conference wins for the first time.
Pat Connaughton led the Fighting Irish (14-14, 5-10) with 11 points, but Notre Dame went nearly 9 minutes in the second half without a point as Virginia turned a 41-38 deficit into a 68-43 lead. The Cavaliers scored 25 consecutive points before Demetrius Jackson's layup broke the spell with 2:32 left.
Notre Dame arrived looking to give coach Mike Brey his 300th victory with the Fighting Irish, and after a slow start, Notre Dame closed the first half on a 15-4 run to pull even at 30 at halftime.
The Irish continued to play well early in the second half, leading 41-38, but then fell apart.
With Mitchell and Gill attacking inside with success, Virginia scored five points to go ahead 43-41. After Garrick Sherman's inside basket tied it at 43 with 11:25 to go, it was all Cavaliers.
Joe Harris made a 3-pointer, Gill scored inside and Anderson, who has a knack for huge defensive plays, denied Auguste as he tried to score on a putback dunk. The Cavaliers quickly headed the other way to a dunk for Gill, and the sellout crowd emerged from an air of quiet concern with raucous celebrating.
Notre Dame missed 12 of its first 17 shots. The Irish trailed by as many as 12 points early, but rallied to make seven of their last eight shots in the closing run to halftime.
Team Notes (courtesy of UVa athletics)
• Virginia won its school-record 14th ACC game of the season
• UVa becomes the fifth school in ACC history to win 14 ACC games in a season (Duke, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina)
• The Cavaliers extended their win streak to 11 straight games, their longest ACC win streak since 1981-82
• Virginia matched last year's overall win total of 23 wins
• The Cavaliers swept the season series with Notre Dame, their third season sweep this year (Florida State, Virginia Tech), the first time since 1994-95 they have had three season sweeps in a season
• Virginia improved to 18 games over .500 for the first time since 1982-83
• The Cavaliers shot a season-high 63.6 % (28-44) from the floor
• Virginia held its 15th straight opponent and 31st straight ACC foe under 50% shooting
• The Cavaliers won their 16th consecutive home ACC game, tying the longest streak in school history (16 straight home ACC wins from 1980-1982)
• Virginia's 16-game home ACC win streak is the longest active streak in the league (Duke has an active 15-game ACC home win streak)
• Virginia's 25-0 run in the second half was its largest run of the season (previous high was a 23-0 run vs. Hampton)
• Virginia set a school record with its 10th ACC double-digit win (9 in 1982-83)
• Anthony Gill scored an ACC career-high 15 points
• Gill scored in double figures for the 10th time this season
• Akil Mitchell scored a season-high 15 points
• Mitchell scored in double figures for the sixth time this season (36th time in his career)
• Mitchell's 7-for-7 from the floor is the best perfect shooting game by a Cavalier since Mike Scott (9-for-9) vs. Wake Forest on Feb. 8, 2012
• Mitchell made a season-high seven field goals
• Malcolm Brogdon (13 pts) has scored in double figures in every ACC game (15th consecutive game, 21st time this season overall, 26th time in his career)
Player Career Highs
• Mike Tobey had a career-high four blocked shots
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett
On UVa's 25-0 run:
"It feels like we've had a few of those over the last three games. It's interesting that three games ago Justin got a block and Joe hit a three against Maryland, then this game Justin gets a block and Anthony gets a nice breakaway dunk. Against Virginia Tech, Justin dove on a loose ball and got the momentum going. Each game there has been something that started the momentum. It was a good way to finish, because Notre Dame is hard to guard. They do some of the same things we do. I think a key stat is their zero points off turnovers in the second half. We tightened up offensively and defensively in the second half. We got a good lift from Darion, and all the guys really."
On Justin Anderson:
"He's such an x-factor guy that, if you've seen him, he comes out of nowhere and can gather and get way up there. His timing is really good. He has the ability to track the ball, especially in transition. But, we want him in the right position on the floor. I really think he's doing the things that are helping us win. He's doing some special things. I let him know that I liked what I saw and I think he's given us a great lift these last two or three games and I'm proud of him in that regard, but I hope there's much more."
On Akil Mitchell:
"Look at his 7-of-7 from the floor, and our bigs were 14-of-17 from the field, Akil really found some holes against there zone and their man-to-man, and was able to score some buckets."
On missed shots:
"We have to play every possession, and when the other team gets off track then that's when a run may happen for us. If we have the mindset that we don't have to play every possession because we will go on a run then we're mistaken. I'm thankful for the runs, but you have to be in there every possession at this time of year. That's what I was frustrated with at halftime. We played about 20-25 seconds per possession and then broke down at the end. It's nice to see them able to make plays like that down the stretch, but we'll have to do that all game."
On UVa being first in the ACC:
"That's something that you have to earn the right for. I told them before the game that they've earned the right to have this opportunity in front of you this game. I asked them if they were going to waste it or take advantage of it, not meaning win it or lose it, but closing out with high hands, making the most of every possession and worrying about the process and being faithful to that. We use the step analogy, and the next one is the biggest in front of us."
Virginia Redshirt Sophomore Forward Anthony Gill
On Justin Anderson's block:
"It was my mistake at first, because I was supposed to be helping over, then Justin blocked it for me. I was going to push it all the way, but I felt like Coach Bennett wasn't going to be too happy about that. So I gave it up to Malcolm and we converted."
On the emergence of his offense at this stage of the season:
"I'm just trying to understand Coach Bennett's system every day. I'm trying to understand what he wants from me defensively. I'm just really trying to focus on that. And once I get my defense down, my offense will come."
Virginia Sophomore Guard Justin Anderson
On his block that ignited UVa's 25-0 run:
"That's the packline defense. You help each other. That's what we do. I saw their big fella go up to try to throw it under and I timed it up right. I'm surprised I didn't get a foul called, but they said I didn't get his hand. But it was a great play and a great finish by Anthony Gill in transition."
On his reputation for iconic blocks:
"It is very satisfying. That is what this program is all about. It was built with defense. We have the defensive foundation. When you have a great play like that in transition and it leads to a big basket every time, it's a huge lift. Even if sometimes in transition we may not get a shot right away, it gives us that lift and gives everyone on the bench that energy."
On being the sixth man:
"It's kind of nerve racking as a player, because you don't know how the flow of the game is going to go. Especially being the sixth man you don't know how it's going to go because if London is locking up on defense, Malcolm is locking up on defense, Joey is locking up on defense, and then we're getting great stuff (on offense), then you realize I'm going to go in when it's time for fatigue. "
Virginia Redshirt Sophomore Guard Malcolm Brogdon
On the team's collective confidence:
"We just play with a confidence that is unshakeable. Whether or not we are down, whether or not we get punched in the face first in terms of a team coming out and hitting a couple shots, I think we have a lot of resiliency at home, and we play with confidence."
On his scoop shot layup while getting fouled:
"I wasn't actually that surprised (that the ball went in). I enjoy finishing. I really work on my finishing and touch around the basket. And while that was a pretty crazy finish and roll, I expect my shots to go in, I really do. I was hoping it would drop and then it did."
On the atmosphere at John Paul Jones Arena:
"I think it is (one of the toughest places to play in the conference), if not the country. I think it's a really tough place to play because we have such a great fan base. I can't speak enough about our fans and what they bring to us during the games, and the momentum they help us create."
Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey
On the game:
"That is an example of how fragile a game can be. For thirty minutes, I really liked what we were doing. Virginia is really good, they are really, really good. I think they are the best team in the league and they put it on us twice. Their big guys hurt us tonight. Their two big guys were fabulous. The whole team is so explosive. It is a beautiful facility and a great atmosphere."
"We tried a little bit of everything to stop them. I think we never got into any offensive rhythm and that really hurt us. Their defense kept getting better and we were not able to stop them. I like what we did for those thirty minutes. We have to get back and figure out a little more about who we are before we go to Greensboro."
On going forward:
"We can't dwell on it much and we are who we are right now. We have two games at home and we will take it from there. I'm really proud of our three freshmen and I want to keep encouraging them. We missed a lot of stuff around the bucket that was very deflating. We missed a lot of shots. We tried to get our big guys to roll off of those shots, but it wasn't working."
"Virginia might be the best team right now talent wise. They are very physical. They are really good at guarding you and they dictate the tempo of the game. I think they are a really confident group. Their team knows who they are on both ends of the court."
Notre Dame Sophomore Forward Zach Auguste:
On Virginia's second half run to seal the game:
"Virginia is a great team and they came out playing with a lot of resiliency. It was tough to match up against them. We didn't take care of our business like men."
On the difficulties of playing on the road at John Paul Jones Arena:
"It gives a great boost of confidence for their team. It's very loud in here and the fans are really dedicated. It's a great arena."