Feb. 28, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Joe Harris had just scored a career-high 36 points, essentially half of his team's total in a 73-68 victory against No. 3 Duke, and the junior guard was talking about "a team effort" and how the Cavaliers played "sound defense."
Joe, was that the best performance of your basketball career?
"I guess you could say that," he finally allowed.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn't quite as reluctant to heap on the praise.
"Harris was fantastic, which we knew he would be. He's just one of the best players in the country," Krzyzewski said. "When you have a guy playing at that level ... it brings everybody up. You know you're playing with a stud."
Harris and Akil Mitchell, who had 19 points and 12 rebounds, combined for 55 of the Cavaliers' points as they celebrated the 11-year anniversary of their last victory over a top 5 team by doing it again on Thursday night.
When Virginia's 16th consecutive home victory was finished, fans stormed the court.
"It's just great," senior point guard Jontel Evans said. "They're the reason we go so hard when we're here. We feed off their energy. They've been great. They've just been unbelievable this year. I've never seen support like this."
Virginia (20-8, 10-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) beat No. 3 Duke 87-84 11 years ago, their last top 5 victory.
This time, Duke never led.
"That's unbelievable right there, that they never led in the game," Evans said.
Plumlee finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and three turnovers and several times looked up to see Mitchell dunking over him.
Virginia outrebounded Duke 36-26, and held the Blue Devils to 39.6 percent shooting (21 of 53).
"It was a very, very physical game and we're not equipped to that type of game. We got knocked back," Krzyzewski said.
In the second half, Harris and Mitchell scored Virginia's first 16 points as the Cavaliers built a 64-50 lead with 3:23 left before closing the victory at the free throw line.
"Harris was fantastic, which we knew he would be. He's just one of the best players in the country,"
- Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski
When Virginia added a 7-2 burst a short time later, the lead was 49-35 with 8:15 left Jnd John Paul Jones Arena was roaring.
The Blue Devils, who may have been looking ahead to a matchup with No. 5 Miami on Saturday, never got closer than nine points until the final minute, when Virginia made 3 of 4 free throws to hold on.
The victory was huge for the Cavaliers, who were in need of a marquee victory to enhance their NCAA tournament credentials. They got it with a fast start and a stifling defensive effort. And the Cavaliers did it despite making only three 3-pointers, more than four below their average, by pounding the ball inside. Virginia scored 34 points inside, Duke just 22.
With its first sellout since North Carolina visited last season, the Cavaliers quickly brought the crowd into the game by scoring the first nine points on their way to a 15-4 lead after 6 1/2 minutes.
The lead got to 18-6 on a three-point play by Harris before Duke settled down offensively.
Curry hit two free throws for his first points midway through the half, sparking a 15-4 burst for the Blue Devils that got them within 22-21 with 4:26 to play. Curry finished it with a 3-pointer, hit only field goal of the half. Duke's only points the rest of the half came on Plumlee's lone field goal of the half.
Jontel Evans steal and layup gave Virginia a 24-21 lead, and was Virginia's first field goal scored by anyone but Harris in more than 11 minutes. Baskets by Harris and Mitchell made it 28-23 at the half.
Cook Ready To Make Up For Lost TimeFootball3/27/17After missing last season with a heart condition, UVA outside linebacker Malcolm Cook has been cleared to play again.Offensive Line Looking to Raise Its GameFootball3/24/17Guard Jack McDonald and tackle Jack English are the returning starters on the offensive line for Virginia, which starts spring practice Tuesday.Weber Hitting Right Notes on DiamondBaseball3/23/17Sophomore Andy Weber starts at second base for No. 16 Virginia, which hosts ACC rival Duke this weekend at Davenport Field.
Director of News Content
A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
Thompson Departing Virginia Men’s Basketball Program
M. Basketball | 3/23/2017
Virginia men's basketball head coach Tony Bennett announced March 23 that redshirt junior guard...
Shayok and Reuter Leaving UVA Men's Basketball Program
M. Basketball | 3/22/2017
Virginia men's basketball head coach Tony Bennett announced Wednesday (March 22) that junior...
Perrantes Named to NABC All-District 2 Second Team
M. Basketball | 3/22/2017
Virginia senior point guard London Perrantes was named to the NABC All-District 2 second team,...
Jeff White: Successful Season Ends on Excruciating Note
M. Basketball | 3/19/2017
Virginia's fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament ended with a 65-39 second-round...
Virginia Falls to Florida 65-39 in Second Round of the NCAAs
M. Basketball | 3/18/2017
Devin Robinson had 14 points and 11 rebounds, the fifth double-double of his career, and No. 4 ...
Jeff White: 'Hoos Hoping For Another Lift From Thompson
M. Basketball | 3/18/2017
In his first start since Dec. 31, Darius Thompson played a team-high 34 minutes Thursday in...
No. 5 Seed UVA Battles No. 4 Seed Florida on Saturday
M. Basketball | 03/17/2017
No. 5 seed Virginia plays No. 4 seed Florida in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sat., ...
Jeff White: Resilient Cavaliers Survive and Advance
M. Basketball | 03/16/2017
Next up for Virginia, which defeated UNC Wilmington 76-71 on Thursday, is a clash with Florida in...
- Online Stores