Dec. 3, 2003
By HANK KURZ Jr.
AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Elton Brown scored a career-high 26 points and ignited a tiebreaking 13-1 run Wednesday night, lifting Virginia to an 86-78 victory against Minnesota in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
The victory gave the Atlantic Coast Conference a 7-2 edge in the series this season, the fifth time in as many years it has prevailed.
The Cavaliers (4-0) had seen a nine-point lead evaporate in a span of 3:14 as the Golden Gophers pulled even at 61 with 8:20 to play. But Brown's driving layin fell as he was fouled. He finished the three-point play and Virginia finally pulled away to gain control.
Minnesota (2-2) lost despite 32 points and 13 rebounds from freshman Kris Humphries, 20 points from Michael Bauer and a 51-40 rebounding advantage. The Gophers committed 18 turnovers to Virginia's nine.
Brown, pressed for playing time by impressive freshman Donte Minter in the Cavaliers' first three games, was sharp from the start. He had 11 points by halftime and seven more in the game-changing run. His last two in the burst, from the foul line, made it 74-62 with 4:04 remaining.
Virginia freshman Gary Forbes also played a big role in the run, scoring four of his 22 points, grabbing several key rebounds and blocking a shot by Humphries to get a fast break started for the Cavaliers.
Derrick Byars added 16 points and nine rebounds for Virginia, which had been in a getting-to-know-you phase through the first three games as coach Pete Gillen incorporated five freshmen into the playing rotation.
This time, they showed no signs of unfamiliarity, making crisp passes from the start, finding open shooters and playing solid defense.
Virginia scored 14 of the first 20 points in the second half to open a 49-40 lead, then kept it at five or better until a 12-4 run by the Gophers capped by Bauer's 3-pointer tied it at 61.
The Cavaliers were outrebounded 29-14 in the first half, but committed only three turnovers while the Gophers had 12 as Virginia led 35-34.
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