CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Malcolm Brogdon got Virginia off to the fast start it was looking for, and when he stopped scoring, Anthony Gill got going.
The seniors for No. 10 Virginia both scored 16 points Saturday and the Cavaliers beat William & Mary 67-52 for their sixth straight win.
Brogdon scored 10 points in the first 6:47, and then not again until just over 3 minutes remained. But his fast start, which included two 3-pointers in the first 2 minutes, opened things up for the rest of the Cavaliers, according to Gill.
“I really think they started keying in on Malcolm, which made it a lot easier for everybody else,” he said. “He’s such a great player and he draws so much attention, it makes it a lot easier for everybody else to get their shots and opportunities for everybody to score.”
Brogdon, often praised by coach Tony Bennett for his aggressiveness on offense, backed off after missing a few shots.
“Once I sort of cooled off I figured I wasn’t going to be super aggressive anymore,” he said. “I felt like A.G., I left like other people were getting into their rhythm and I felt like I would take my opportunities when I could.”
Darius Thompson added 12 points for the Cavaliers (7-1), who beat the Tribe for the 10th consecutive time.
William & Mary (5-3), which has already beaten N.C. State and Old Dominion this season and had suffered its first two losses by a total of five points, was led by Daniel Dixon with 15 points and Omar Prewitt with 14.
The Tribe lost the turnover battle 19-6, and their giveaways led to 20 points for Virginia. William & Mary scored just two points off six Virginia turnovers.
“Turnovers is the difference in the ball game,” Tribe coach Tony Shaver said. “I understand a team of that quality makes you do some things that aren’t characteristic, but our decision-making as a ball club was very poor today.”
The game was physical inside, and Shaver blamed a late-game technical foul against him on frustration.
“Competitive old man that wants to be successful, and we weren’t,” he said.
The Cavaliers used a 16-2 run early in the game to open a 22-8 lead, but William & Mary didn’t let the deficit get any bigger. The Tribe was within 32-22 at halftime, and twice got within six points early in the second half. But Gill’s basket made it 42-34 and sparked a 9-2 run for Virginia, and the Cavaliers slowly pulled away.
Evan Nolte added a three-point play, Devin Hall scored and Thompson had a dunk to finish the burst, bringing the crowd to its feet.
Virginia led by as many as 16 points in the closing minutes, allowing Bennett to empty his bench.
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