Double Bonus: NC State

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Joe Harris draws a lot of attention from opponents and that frees up other players.

Another round of stingy defense and strong ball security led the Virginia men’s basketball team to its fourth straight conference win on Tuesday night. The Cavaliers knocked off No. 19 NC State behind a defensive effort that held yet another ACC opponent to less than 60 points. UVa also committed just 8 turnovers in the 58-55 victory. Let’s look at some of the other key details in the “Double Bonus.”

The Harris Affect

Wahoo junior Joe Harris led all scorers with 22 points as he made 7 of 15 shots and 5 of 6 free throws against the Wolfpack. While he posted only 1 assist, his impact on the offensive end of the floor cannot be overstated in this one, particularly in the second half. Many of the key buckets after intermission had Harris directly involved in the action even when he didn’t score himself.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Akil Mitchell ‘s wide open layup to start the half came because Scott Wood got lost chasing Harris, who had the option of going off a screen high or low. So when Harris ditched Wood around the low screen, NCSU’s Richard Howell had to help toward the corner as Harris made his cut and no one helped Howell. That left Mitchell alone for an easy one.
  • Mike Tobey ‘s dunk just before the 17:00 mark of the second half occurred when Howell hedged hard (jumped into the dribbler’s path) on an on-ball screen from Tobey for Harris. Howell’s action stopped Harris so Harris reversed the ball to Mitchell. In the meantime, Tobey rolled hard to the basket where someone on defense had to cover up that cut while Howell recovered from his hedge on Harris. No one did. C.J. Leslie got caught in no man’s land – no ball pressure on the passer and no help on the dump down pass. Rodney Purvis should have helped off of Jontel Evans , who stood outside the 3-poin line on the weak side