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UVa/N.C. State postgame notes and quotes ...

  • Team Notes

    • Virginia recorded its first ranked win of the season (tonight was first game against a ranked opponent)
    • The Cavaliers extended their home winning streak to 12 games, matching their longest JPJA win streak (12 straight wins, 1/16/07-11/27/07)
    • Virginia remains undefeated against NC State at JPJA (5-0)
    • The Wolfpack remain the only winless ACC team at JPJA
    • The seven-point halftime deficit was the largest overcome by the Cavaliers in a win since down being down 10 at #15 Minnesota (down 37-27 at half, won 87-79 on 11/29/11)
    • Virginia has held its first seven ACC opponents under 60 points for the first time in ACC history

    Player Notes

    • Akil Mitchell (14 pts, 12 rebs) had his seventh double-double of the season (eighth of his career)
    • Joe Harris (22 pts) had his fourth 20-point game of the season (fifth of his career)
    • Harris’ 22 points are an ACC career high and tie his season high
    • Harris’ three highest career scoring games (24 at Minnesota as a freshman, 22 at Wisconsin this season, 22 tonight) have all been on ESPN2
    • Joe Harris scored in double figures for the 17th time this season
    • Mike Tobey (13 pts) scored in double figures for the fifth time in his career
    • Mitchell’s 12 rebounds are an ACC career high
    • Mitchell scored in double figures for the 15th time this season
    • Jontel Evans tied his season high and ACC career high with seven assists
    • It was Evans’ fourth consecutive game with at least six assists
    • Darion Atkins returned to action after missing the last three games due to injury (last played Jan. 12 at Clemson)

    Player Career Highs

    • Mike Tobey tied a career high with seven rebounds

    Career Records Watch

    • Joe Harris moved into eighth place on Virginia’s career 3-pointer list with 159, moving past Adrian Joseph (158, 2005-08)

    Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

    On last possession of the game:
    “Paul got a piece of it. Paul did a good job. He fell asleep one time on (Scott) Wood, and that’s when Wood hit the three. But otherwise, you look at Paul’s stat line, and it wasn’t much, but defensively, I thought he was very good. He tipped that last one. We were debating a little bit, should we foul? Shouldn’t we? Unless you practice that, I think it’s a little tricky.”

    On Jontel Evans:
    “Obviously, he missed those three, and he was probably a little shook. We were trying to just run some clock, and he just happened to keep the ball in his hands, and then they went and fouled him. But, good for him for stepping up and making those shots, making those free throws. That was significant.”

    “I’m really proud. Certainly, Joe, he was tough. Akil was. Mike Tobey was. Again, they stepped up when they needed to.”

    “I also am very aware that they lost perhaps the best guard in the league in (Lorenzo) Brown, and that was to our benefit. We still had to make plays, and we persevered. I’m very thankful for the win.”

    On getting the lead and open shots:
    “I don’t know if it was the fatigue of the amount of games in a short amount of time, but I do know the physicalness and athleticism of NC State was more than we have seen all year. You could see that in the first half, how quickly those guys could get to the rim or bounce off the floor and get after it with second shots. We looked a little sluggish. Then, I thought we had a good matchup with Joe, when (T.J.) Warren was on him, and Joe took advantage of that.”

    On Mike Tobey:
    “He’s got terrific touch. I think his length bothered Howell some. Mike’s continuing to improve, and again, he is certainly a threat on the blocks, and I love it that he had seven rebounds. I see three offensive rebounds and four defensive rebounds. That’s a good step. He’s put together three real nice games.”

    On young players:
    “That’s valuable experience for them, for us, for their future, all that stuff. I thought they made some good plays. I thought Justin really did a good job defensively. I thought Justin battled against (C.J.) Leslie.”

    NC State Head Coach Mark Gottfried

    Opening statement:
    “My first comment is that I’m proud of my team. I thought our team played really hard and obviously, we had to overcome some tough things that happened during the game. Obviously losing Lorenzo is a tough hurdle for our team to get over, but I thought they battled through that very well. We did a lot of things well. We didn’t execute nearly as well as we should have late in the game and we also had some opportunities where we had the ball right around the rim. We just couldn’t seem to score it. That was tough. They did a nice job and it is a good win for Virginia, but we just need to continue to stay together and build on this.”

    On the NC State players being instructed to foul at the end of the game:
    “No, not at all. That is not a good play. You just can’t make that play. It is something we need to learn from. We’re down one at the 29-second mark and we need to get a defensive stop.”

    On Lorenzo Brown’s injury:
    “I think it will be a couple days before we have any idea if he’ll play against Miami this weekend. He tried to play tonight and wanted to play, but I think it’s too early to tell that right now.”

    On how Brown’s injury impacts NC State:
    “I think he’s the best point guard in the ACC. Obviously we are different without him. We have to overcome that and if he doesn’t play on Saturday we’ll have to do that for 40 minutes. It’s part of the game. I think it affects everything. Injuries are part of the game. I think he only played 10 minutes so you just have to find a way.”

    On the play of Mike Tobey and Joe Harris:
    “I think he (Mike Tobey) has played well for them lately. He has scored well for them around the basket and defensively he’s pretty good. I thought (Joe) Harris had a nice game, but I thought our guys really made him earn them. He had to make some tough shots. He’s a very good player.”

    Virginia Junior Forward Akil Mitchell

    On his reaction to the game:
    “I feel good. They’re a good team – one of the best in the ACC. It’s always good to get a win at home. They’ve got some good players, and to beat a ranked team is a big deal. We are all happy with that.”

    On the game being a must-win:
    “We take it one game at a time. We knew this would be a big game coming into it, but it wasn’t one that we thought was a must-win. There’s a long season ahead.”

    On matching NC State’s players:
    “That’s their game. (Richard) Howell and (C.J.) Leslie are their go-to guys. They’ve got good guys. Those are some of the best in the conference. I was proud of Justin (Anderson), Evan (Nolte) and Mike (Tobey), all my young guys, for stepping up and helping me defend. They all played big roles.”

    Virginia Junior Guard Joe Harris

    On the atmosphere in the arena:
    “The crowd was pretty fun. Coming in, we knew it was going to be a crazy atmosphere. To come out with a win is huge, and obviously we enjoy it a lot.”

    On shooting in the first half:
    “We knew the first half we didn’t play particularly well offensively. But at the same time, we didn’t play the best defense in the first half, either. We gave up too many second chance points, and they bullied us around and out-toughed us.”

    On the freshmen:
    “We count on big contributions out of each one of them. If Teven (Jones) is only playing a couple minutes or he’s playing 25, we expect the same thing out of him night in and night out. That goes for all of them.”

    Virginia Freshman Forward/Center Mike Tobey

    On playing against Richard Howell and C.J. Leslie:
    “Coach has been telling us all week that these guys aren’t that much better than us. We trust in our coaches, and we went out there and played the best that we could. They’re pretty tall, but being a seven-footer, I definitely have an advantage.”

    On playing well with both hands:
    “My older brother and I used to play one-on-one. He was really good with his left hand, and he used to kill me when we played. So, I started working harder so that I could beat him. That’s where it started, and I’ve kept it up since then.”

    Senior Guard Jontel Evans

    On his free throws tonight:
    “After I had missed the last three of the second half, my teammates told me, ‘Man, don’t even worry about it. Sometimes shots just don’t drop.’ At the beginning of the second half, Coach Bennett just told me to take my time out there, and to relax. When I got the last two, I just thought about the two in front of me. My concentration was unbelievable. I was focused. I went through my progressions; I tuned out the crowd, the score, and everything. Those were probably the biggest two free throws of my entire career.”

    On the team’s standing:
    “It’s great. It’s very special. All the guys have bought into the system and are playing their roles at a very high level. As Coach Bennett says, we have to be hungry and we have to be humble. It’s a great win tonight and now we’re headed to Georgia Tech.”

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  • I look forward to this feature after every game. Well done as always.

  • Gottfried really struggles to say anything good about us.

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  • He couldn't bring himself to say that Bennett flat outcoached him. At least Roy Williams has the humility to admit it when that happens.

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  • A buddy from Raleigh called to congratulate me. He is a big UNC fan but is in tune with Gott, as they call him. He reminded me that Gott was fired at Alabama for pulling a Jeff Jones. Now he is dating Chris Corchiani's wife. He added that the police were at the Corchiani's home last night for some reason. The ncst bubble might burst before the NCAA pops it.

  • Feel like I just read a Danielle Steele novel... or one of those 50 Shades of Grey books.