Virginia edges Miami-FloridaJan 8, 2012 - 2:25 AM Charlottesville, VA (Sports Network) - Mike Scott scored 23 points and Jontel Evans came up with a big defensive stop on the final possession, as No. 21 Virginia stayed hot with a 52-51 win over Miami-Florida in the ACC opener for both programs.
Scott also grabbed eight rebounds and was the lone offensive threat for the Cavaliers (14-1, 1-0 ACC), who used their defensive prowess to continue their best start since going 27-1 to open the 1981-82 season.
Kenny Kadji logged 14 points and 10 rebounds for Miami-Florida (9-5, 0-1), which had its four-game winning streak snapped.
Durand Scott added 12 points for the Hurricanes but was hounded by Evans in the final seconds before missing a contested shot on the left block.
"What I really wanted wasn't open, so I just tried to go for the best opening, knowing that time was running down. I just didn't make the shot," Scott said. "Credit to Virginia for playing great defense."
With four minutes remaining, Kadji threw down a dunk in transition for a 46-45 lead, Miami-Florida's first in the second half.
The lead was short-lived, as Sammy Zeglinski answered with a three-pointer and Evans leaned in for a baseline jumper the next time down.
A pair of Durand Scott free throws cut the deficit to two, and with just over a minute left, Miami-Florida missed a great opportunity to even things. A perfectly-designed back screen left Trey McKinney wide open for an alley-oop, but McKinney's lay-in fell off the rim.
Mike Scott scored down low on the next touch for a 52-48 advantage, though Durand Scott countered with a three-point play with 33.4 seconds remaining.
Virginia's Joe Harris missed the front end of a one-and-one with 18.8 seconds showing, and the Hurricanes grabbed the rebound and called timeout.
Durand Scott dribbled down the clock on the left wing and tried taking Evans off the dribble. Evans, though, stayed in front and Scott's attempt fell short. Scott grabbed his own rebound, but Zeglinski tied him up as the final buzzer sounded.
"He's really good at getting to the rim," Evans said of Durand Scott. "A couple plays before that I reached in and let him get all the way to the rim, but on that last play I just dug deep, stayed grounded and played good defense."
Miami-Florida shot just 28 percent from the field in the first half, and Virginia scored the final six points to take a 26-17 lead into the break.
The Hurricanes went on an 11-2 run early in the second half and pulled within one, 35-34, eight minutes in on a three-point play by Durand Scott, who drove in for a layup with eight minutes remaining to tie it, 40-40.
This is Virginia's first 12-game win streak since 1981-82. Miami-Floria head coach Jim Larranaga was an assistant in Charlottesville that season...Virginia improved to 9-0 at home and has held all but one of its opponents under 60 points this season...The Hurricanes defeated the Cavaliers twice last season, both in overtime.
- MIAMI: 51
Jan 7 7:53 PM
- MIAMI: 17
Jan 7 6:46 PM
- MIAMI: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Jan 7 6:07 PM
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