CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Akil Mitchell and Anthony Gill both scored 15 points and No. 14 Virginia used a 30-5 second-half run to blow open a close game and beat Notre Dame 70-49 on Saturday, the Cavaliers’ 11th consecutive victory.
Justin Anderson helped fuel the run by blocking a dunk attempt by Notre Dame’s Zach Auguste, bringing a sellout crowd at John Paul Jones Arena to its feet. The victory gave Virginia (23-5, 14-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) 14 conference wins for the first time.
Pat Connaughton led the Irish (14-14, 5-10) with 11 points, but Notre Dame went nearly 9 minutes in the second half without a point as Virginia turned a 41-38 deficit into a 68-43 lead. The Cavaliers scored 25 consecutive points before Demetrius Jackson’s layup broke the spell with 2:32 left.
Notre Dame arrived looking to give coach Mike Brey his 300th victory with the Irish, and after a slow start, Notre Dame closed the first half on a 15-4 run to pull even at 30 at halftime.
The Irish continued to play well early in the second half, leading 41-38, but then fell apart.
With Mitchell and Gill attacking inside with success, Virginia scored five points to go ahead 43-41. After Garrick Sherman’s inside basket tied it at 43 with 11:25 to go, it was all Cavaliers.
Joe Harris made a 3-pointer, Gill scored inside and Anderson, who has a knack for huge defensive plays, denied Auguste as he tried to score on a putback dunk. The Cavaliers quickly headed the other way to a dunk for Gill, and the sellout crowd emerged from an air of quiet concern with raucous celebrating.
Notre Dame missed 12 of its first 17 shots. The Irish trailed by as many as 12 points early, but rallied to make seven of their last eight shots in the closing run to halftime.
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