No. 17 Virginia 75, UNLV 65
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Freshman Curtis Staples led an outside shooting assault by No. 17 Virginia on Sunday, hitting a school-record nine 3-pointers in the Cavaliers’ 75-65 victory over UNLV.
Staples hit 9 of 12 from long range and finished with 27 points _ eight better than his previous career high _ as the Cavaliers (16-6) won their fourth consecutive game. He broke the Virginia record of eight 3-pointers by Richard Morgan, set in 1989 against North Carolina.
Virginia guard Harold Deane hit 5 of 11 3-pointers and matched his career high with 28 points.
UNLV (9-10) double- and triple-teamed Virginia’s No. 1 scorer, forward Junior Burrough. Burrough, who came in averaging 17.1 points, was frustrated down low and held to eight points, but Virginia found plenty of openings from the outside, hitting 14 of 28 3-point tries.
The loss marked the end of a five-game road trip for UNLV, which has played 15 away games this season. The Runnin’ Rebels play five of their last seven at home.
The Cavaliers last year defeated UNLV 59-39, the Runnin’ Rebels worst loss at the Thomas & Mack Center and their lowest point total in the program’s history. The Runnin’ Rebels didn’t set any futility records this time, but they were unable to prevent the Cavaliers from coming within one 3-pointer of matching their school single-game record.
Patrick Savoy led UNLV with 20 points, Clayton Johnson had 19 and Jermaine Smith added 15.
Virginia led 38-32 after a first half in which Staples hit 6 of 7 from 3-point range and was nearly a one-man wrecking crew in the 11-2 run that gave the Cavaliers an early advantage. Virginia broke from a 20-20 tie as Staples hit 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions. A follow shot by Norman Nolan stretched the Cavaliers’ edge to 31-22.
UNLV scored the first five points of the second half and was able to keep it close as Virginia missed 14 of its first 16 shots.
But midway through the half, the Cavaliers went outside again to fuel another run. Deane had a pair of 3-pointers and Staples added one in a 9-0 surge that made it 54-45 with 7:54 left.
UNLV got no closer than five, and Virginia extended took its biggest lead on a 3-pointer by Staples that made it 75-63 with 1:18 to go.