Nov. 19, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -
Virginia (3-1) shot 56.6 percent (30-of-53) from the floor and held a 40-19 edge in rebounding on its way to a 67-42 win over visiting Navy (2-3) on Tuesday evening in front of 9,764 fans at the John Paul Jones Arena. Virginia used a key 13-0 run to build up an 18-point first-half lead that the Mids could not recover from.
"We just didn't play well enough to keep the thing in striking distance," head coach Ed DeChellis said. "We didn't do the things that we talked about doing: taking care of the ball, making easy plays, making them guard us, being on offense longer than defense. And those are all things that we can control."
Virginia's Anthony Gill was 8-of-9 from the floor for a career-high 18 points to pace four Cavaliers in double figures. Junior guard Brandon Venturini led Navy with 15 points and hit four three-pointers.
Navy got the looks it wanted from the outside in the game's opening five minutes, but couldn't connect on its first four three-point attempts as Virginia built a 7-2 lead.
"I tried to impress upon the team that it was very important to get off to a good start and gain some confidence," said DeChellis. "We had wide open shots in the first five minutes of the game and couldn't make any of them. To me that's where you have to put the pole in the ground and make your baskets. That's the way these games go. If you can't score then you start rushing shots. Next thing you know your defense starts to slide. Things can kind of snowball."
The Mids were able to put together a quick 5-2 run when sophomore point guard Tilman Dunbar's steal led to a fast break layup by sophomore guard Kendall Knorr and then Venturini hit his first three-pointer.
Virginia then saw its lead grow to 17-7 before Venturini buried his second trey and then the guard from Allendale, Mich. split the defense to drive in for a left-handed layup on the next possession.
UVA opened its lead back up with the game-changing 13-0 run when Navy committed six straight turnovers without taking a shot and Virginia converted six straight layups on the other end. Navy suffered through a 5:31 scoring drought during the spurt.
The Mids were able to close the gap before halftime as sophomore center Will Kelly put in a layup and then freshman guard Grant Vermeer knocked in a three-pointer from the wing for a 32-17 halftime score.
Venturini opened the second half with his third three-pointer, but then Virginia scored seven straight points before a Kelly jumper ended the run. However, Virginia got its lead up to 21 points during the stretch and its lead was never less than 18 the rest of the way.
Virginia would again see its lead grow, pushing the score to 54-31, before Dunbar converted an and-one opportunity after being fouled on a layup. Freshman forward James Hemphill then put in a layup to cut the deficit to 18 at 54-36.
A 7-1 run by Virginia extended the lead to 24 at 61-37, but then freshman guard Zach Fong scored five quick points for the Mids. Fong hit a jumper from the right corner with a foot on the line and then drilled a three-pointer from the wing. However, Fong's three with 4:31 remaining would be Navy's last point of the game as the Cavaliers closed on a 6-0 run for a 67-42 final.
In addition to Virginia's 40-19 rebounding edge, the Cavaliers had nine offensive boards compared to just two by Navy. Virginia was also able score inside throughout the night and held a 42-12 advantage in points in the paint.
Virginia's Joe Harris scored 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting while center Mike Tobey and guard Malcolm Brogdon each had 13 points.
"Virginia is a very good basketball team," said DeChellis. "They're physical and they're big and it was tough to complete some plays that we would normally complete. They are well-coached and I think they'll be a top-25 basketball team and they'll do very well in the ACC."
Venturini scored in double figures for the fourth-straight game for Navy. He now leads the team with a 10.8 scoring average.
Navy shot 33.3 percent (16-of-48) from the floor, its lowest percentage of the season since the opener at Towson.
Navy and Virginia met for the 45th time in series history, but the first time since 1974. Navy leads the all-time series, 32-13.
After playing five games in the season's first 12 days, and with four games being on the road, Navy will return to Alumni Hall for a three-game homestand starting with UMBC on Saturday at 7:00 PM.