Recap: Virginia vs. Norfolk State
Charlottesville, VA (Sports Network) - Akil Mitchell logged a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds as the Virginia Cavaliers captured a 67-56 win over the Norfolk State Spartans in the first round of the 76th annual NIT at John Paul Jones Arena.
Also scoring in double figures for the top-seeded Cavaliers (22-11) were Justin Anderson and Joe Harris with 15 and 12 points, respectively, the pair combining for 11 rebounds as well for the hosts.
The eighth-seeded Spartans (21-12) were led by Rob Johnson who recorded a double-double of his own with 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, while Pendarvis Williams matched his scoring output before fouling out and shooting a mere 4-of-16 from the floor along the way. Malcolm Hawkins chipped in 12 points, but he too fouled out following a weak shooting performance (3-of-9).
Norfolk State shot a woeful 5-of-27 from the field in the first half, although three of those conversions came from 3-point range. Nevertheless, the Spartans found themselves trailing by double figures at the break, 26-16.
In the second half the Spartans again struggled from the floor (.360) while Virginia converted 52.6 percent in order to pull away for the double-digit victory.
The Cavaliers forced 18 turnovers on the night, but at the same time suffered 17 miscues of their own and struggled at the free-throw line, 22-of-37.
The Cavaliers, winners of a school-record 18 straight games at JPJ Arena, head to the second round where they will clash with St. John's which defeated Saint Joseph's by a 63-61 score on Tuesday night.Game Notes