Seventh-ranked Virginia held the University of Maine to the program’s fewest points in the shot clock era on Wednesday, grinding out a 46-26 men’s basketball victory at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Cavaliers (7-0) limited the Black Bears (2-4) to 19 percent shooting (8-for-43), marking the third time this season Virginia has held an opponent under 40 points.
Conversely, coach Richard Barron’s UMaine squad limited Virginia to their lowest point total of the season on 17-for-44 (39 percent shooting).
UMaine received an $85,000 guarantee to play the defending national champions in the non-conference contest.
Mamadi Diakite paced the Cavaliers with a game-high 15 points and seven rebounds. Jay Huff posted 13 points and five boards and Kihei Clark provided nine points, five assists and three steals.
Vilgot Larsson scored nine points to lead UMaine, going 2-for-4 from 3-point land. Andrew Fleming tallied seven points and six rebounds.
Miks Antoms played well down low, logging a career-high 36 minutes and recording five rebounds (four offensive) and four assists while playing gritty defense in the paint.
UMaine outrebounded Virginia 32-27, but 21 UMaine turnovers led directly to 21 Cavalier points.
The Cavaliers built a 24-14 halftime advantage by outscoring the Black Bears 12-2 in the paint and converting some of UMaine’s 10 turnovers into 11 points.
UMaine was still within five points at 15-10 after a Sergio El Darwich 3-pointer with 6:03 remaining in the half, but Virginia finished the period on a 9-4 run to up its lead to 10 points.
Morsell started that surge with two free throws, then Diakite scored from close range and added a foul shot. Diakite’s dunk after a UMaine turnover then pushed the advantage to 22-10 at the 4:35 mark.
According to kenpom.com, UMaine has the 21st ranked strength of schedule in Division I thus far this season.
UMaine’s tough non-conference slate continues when they visit Connecticut at 1 p.m. Sunday at the XL Center in Hartford.