Quotes provided by Hank Kurtz Jr.; Associated Press
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WAVY) – The Virginia men’s basketball team is once again able to say it’s reached a historic milestone, starting off 12-0 for the first time since the days of Ralph Sampson. Even though the Cavaliers’ 83-72 win over Davison on Tuesday night had nowhere near the same feel as the previous 17 straight wins at John Paul Jones Arena, Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett didn’t mind at all.
“I thought we did a great job answering the challenge,” said Bennett, who’s normally vaunted “Packline” defense allowed Davidson to shoot 39 percent from 3-point range and 48 percent from the field. Those numbers put the Cavaliers in a 12-point, first half hole they had to methodically dig themselves out of.
“I’ll take the situation that we had today in the first half over a lot of what we’ve seen so far because it can be much worse when you are down like that on the road with the crowd and adversity,” said guard Justin Anderson, “For us to see adversity, I was like, “I love this’ because it’s a chance to fight, push through and see what this team is all about.”
UVA mananged to make it a four-point game at halftime. Davidson still led 36-32. A second half surge was sparked by two clutch 3-pointers by Anderson (14 points) and the play of Anthony Gill, whom the Wildcats had no answer for all night.
Gill notched a career-high 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Cavaliers. “We haven’t been in a game like that this year and for us to go out there and be down at halftime like we were and fight back like we did, it was good for the whole team just to experience that kind of win,” he said.
The Hoos have made it out of conference play unscathed, and now head into ACC play with a road trip to Coral Gables, Fla., where they’ll face the University of Miami on Saturday.