Tobey leads No. 25 Virginia over Davidson 70-57
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — One minute into the second half, Virginia coach Tony Bennett called a timeout and lit into his team.
The 25th-ranked Cavaliers then put together a nice surge and went on to defeat winless Davidson 70-57 on Saturday.
“We talked about setting the tone in the second half and I didn’t like what I saw to start,” Bennett said. “I told them ‘That’s enough. Let me see you scrap.’ I was ticked and they needed to hear it — and they needed to respond. And for the most part, they did.”
Mike Tobey had 18 points and Malcolm Brogdon added 17 for Virginia (2-1), which rebounded from a tough loss to No. 14 VCU on Tuesday. Tobey and Brogdon each had seven rebounds.
Akil Mitchell, who played high school basketball in Charlotte, overcame a sluggish start and finished with 11 points — all in the second half — and nine rebounds for Virginia.
“Things weren’t going our way and coach Bennett, in one of his marquee moments let us know, hey look, this is what we have to do to win,” Mitchell said. “I think guys took it to heart and that’s how we pulled away in the second half.”
Justin Anderson added 12 rebounds and eight rebounds for Virginia, which managed to get the win despite Joe Harris being held without a field goal.
Virginia outrebounded Davidson 42-30.
Tyler Kalinoski had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Davidson (0-3), which shot just 31 percent from the field.
Virginia lost 59-56 to VCU when Treveon Graham buried a 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left on the clock. But the Cavaliers found their stride in the second half at Davidson, led by the 6-foot-11 Tobey.
“We knew we had a size advantage so we tried to get the ball into Mike and me,” Mitchell said. “Once we started banging inside they kind of faltered a little bit.”
Davidson got within nine with 3:36 left, but Anderson drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
The taller Cavaliers were focused on holding two-time Southern Conference Player of the Year De’Mon Brooks in check, swarming the 6-foot-7 forward every time he touched the ball around the basket.
Brooks, who came in averaging 18 points and eight rebounds, only managed two field goals in the first half — both on uncontested 3-pointers. He finished with 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting with three rebounds.
“We use our post trap a lot and we wanted to make it hard on him,” Bennett said. “When he got a catch we wanted to be there and trap. ... We said don’t let him go to work. We wanted to make and them beat outside over the top with contested 3s.”
It looked as if the Cavaliers were on the verge of pulling away in the first half before Davidson coach Bob McKillop called timeout with 6:24 left and his team down by 12. The Wildcats responded with a 3-point barrage from four different players to tie it at 27.
Brian Sullivan had 11 of his 13 points in the first half for Davidson.
This was Davidson’s second game against a ranked opponent. The team lost at No. 4 Duke 111-77 in the season opener.
The Wildcats’ schedule isn’t going to get much easier. Along with a first-round game against Georgia in the Charleston Classic next weekend, they play No. 11 North Carolina and No. 16 Wichita State in December.
“As we progress through this schedule which is incredibly challenging, we will get better,” McKillop said. “We are ready to keep this program moving in the right direction. Despite an 0-3 record, I’m very optimistic about this team.”
Virginia hosts Navy on Tuesday night.