Freshman guard KT Harrell scored a game-high 15 points and senior guard Mustapha Farrakhan added 11 points to lead Virginia to a 64-50 victory over Louisiana State University Sunday night (Jan. 2) at John Paul Jones Arena.
The victory stopped a two-game UVa losing skid and improved the Cavaliers' overall record to 9-5 on the season. The loss was the fourth in five games for LSU and dropped the Tigers' record to 8-7.
Virginia had balanced scoring in the game as six players scored between eight and 15 points. Freshman forward Akil Mitchell scored a season-high nine points and freshman guard Joe Harris also had nine points. Senior forward Will Sherrill scored eight points, including two three-point field goals late in the game, and sophomore guard Jontel Evans had eight points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals without a turnover.
UVa played without senior forward Mike Scott, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, for the fourth time in five games because of an ankle injury.
Junior forward Garrett Green led three LSU players in double figures with 12 points. Junior forward Malcolm White scored 11 points and had a team-high six rebounds, and freshman guard Ralston Turner also had 11 points.
UVa led by as many as eight points in the first half and held a 26-22 halftime lead.
LSU rallied and led on two occasions early in the second half before Virginia took control of the game. The Tigers led 31-30 with 16:56 left in the game when the Cavaliers went on a 16-1 run to take a 46-32 lead with 10:38 remaining to play. Five different players scored for UVa in the run with Farrakhan scoring six points and Harrell four.
LSU cut the Virginia lead to 48-42 on a tip in by White with 6:02 to play, but two free throws by Harrell and a layup by Mitchell got the lead back to 10 (52-42) for the Cavaliers. The Tigers got no closer than eight points the rest of the way as Sherrill hit two three-pointers in the last four minutes of the game.
Virginia shot 40.4 percent (21-52) from the field, including 31.6 percent (6-19) from three-point range, and 76.2 percent (16-21) from the free throw line. The Cavaliers out-rebounded the Tigers 36-32 and blocked six LSU shots.
The Tigers shot 35.3 percent (18-51) from the field, including 23.1 percent (3-13) from three-point range, and 64.7 percent (11-17) from the free throw line.
Virginia returns to action on Tuesday (Jan. 4) when Howard University visits John Paul Jones Arena. That game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and is the final non-conference game for the Cavaliers before they turn their attention to Atlantic Coast Conference play.