Published January 08, 2015
Charlottesville, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Akil Mitchell scored 15 points on 7- of-7 shooting and No. 14 Virginia used a huge second-half run to beat Notre Dame, 70-49.
Anthony Gill also finished with 15 points, while Malcolm Brogdon chipped in 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Cavaliers (23-5, 14-1 ACC), who remain atop the Atlantic Coast Conference after their 11th straight victory.
Pat Connaughton was the only player in double figures for the Fighting Irish (14-14, 5-10) with 11 points. Notre Dame has lost two straight following a two-game winning streak.
The Irish's Garrick Sherman's jumper with just under 11 1/2 minutes left in the second half tied the game at 43-43, but Virginia's Joe Harris followed with a 3-pointer that ignited a 25-0 surge that put the game away. Brogdon scored eight points during the jaunt and capped it with a triple with three minutes remaining.
A block from Justin Anderson highlighted the run. With the Irish trailing, 48-43 with just over nine minutes left, Notre Dame's Zach Auguste went up for a dunk, but was denied by Anderson. The resulting play was a jam for Gill.
"That's the packline defense," Anderson said. "You help each other. That's what we do. I saw their big fella go up to try to throw it under and I timed it up right. I'm surprised I didn't get a foul called, but they said I didn't get his hand. But it was a great play and a great finish by Anthony Gill in transition."
Notre Dame went 0-for-10 from the field during the run before Demetrius Jackson ended the drought with a layup with 2 1/2 minutes to play.
"That is an example of how fragile a game can be," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "For thirty minutes, I really liked what we were doing. Virginia is really good, they are really, really good. I think they are the best team in the league and they put it on us twice. Their big guys hurt us tonight. Their two big guys were fabulous."
Notre Dame led 7-5 early in the first half when Mitchell scored six points during a 14-0 run to give the Cavs a double-digit advantage.
The Irish ended the first half on a 15-4 run that knotted the game at 30-30 at the break. Connaughton, Jackson, and V.J. Beachem all nailed 3-pointers during the burst and Eric Atkins closed the scoring in the half with a layup to tie the game.
Neither team had a lead larger than four before Virginia clamped down on defense and ultimately ended the game with the lengthy run.
Notre Dame finished 21-of-54 (38.9 percent) from the field ... Virginia made 28-of-44 (63.6 percent) attempts from the field ... There were nine ties and four lead changes ... The Cavs outscored the Irish, 36-24, in the paint.