CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Akil Mitchell had 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and Virginia overcame sloppy play to beat Morgan State 75-57 on Wednesday night, the Cavaliers’ eighth consecutive victory.
Darion Atkins added a career-high 17 points and Joe Harris scored 14 for Virginia (9-2).
DeWayne Jackson scored 32, tying the record for an opponent at John Paul Jones Arena, for the Bears (3-5). The 32 points was also achieved by Clemson’s K.C. Rivers and Penn State’s Talor Battle.
Virginia led 43-34 when two baskets by Atkins sparked a 12-2 run early in the second half. With Jackson carrying the Bears, they closed within 59-50 with 6:54 to play before Virginia surged again.
A three-point play by Evan Nolte started another 12-2 run for Virginia, and they cruised from there.
Paul Jesperson hit his third 3-pointer of the night in the burst and scored a career-high 11 for the Cavaliers, who overcame nine second-half turnovers. They also outrebounded the Bears 39-21.
Virginia led 14-8 until the Bears went on a Jackson-led, 13-4 run. The senior scored 10 of the points, and hit two of his three first-half 3-pointers in the burst that gave Morgan State a 21-18 lead.
Virginia answered quickly, taking control back with a 15-0 spurt. Paul Jesperson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start it, and freshman Justin Anderson capped with a 3 from deep on the right wing.
Jackson’s 19-point first half was the highest scoring first half for an opponent in John Paul Jones Arena history. Four players have scored 17 players in a first half at the arena, which opened in 2006.
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