HANK KURZ Jr.,AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Tim Hardaway Jr. was in foul trouble and watched most of the first half from the bench as No. 14 Michigan struggled to find open shots against Virginia. He quickly drew some conclusions about the Cavaliers’ priorities.
“It seems like they practice defense every day throughout the summer and in practice,” the Wolverines’ leading scorer said after being limited to five points in a 70-58 loss Tuesday night.
“They don’t practice offense at all it seems like. They were just coming out playing hard-nosed defense, locking and trailing when we came off our … screens, and they just did their job.”
And made it hard for the Wolverines to do theirs in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
Mike Scott and Joe Harris led Virginia with 18 points each, and Michigan coach John Beilein said he knew all about them coming in. What he wasn’t prepared for was freshman Malcolm Brogdon scoring 16.
“We had him like the seventh guy that we had to worry about on their team,” Beilein said.
Brogdon scored 13 points in the second half, leading a 19-2 run that turned a 39-34 lead for Michigan into a 53-41 Virginia advantage, getting the crowd of 10,564 at John Paul Jones Arena riled up and imploring the Cavaliers to finish off the Wolverines.
Hardaway’s 8-footer and a 3-pointer from Stu Douglass made it 53-46, but Brogdon answered with a 3-pointer from the right side after missing and having the ball come right back to him. Harris’ 3 after another Wolverines miss made it 59-46.
“When we play really hard on defense and get stops, that makes our offense run, that makes our offense go,” Brogdon said. “I think we were able to get into a rhythm offensively because of our defense.”
From before the run began until Brogdon’s free throw made it 60-49, Brogdon (12), Harris (10) and Scott (six) combined for all 28 of Virginia’s points over a stretch of 11 minutes.
Zack Novak led the Wolverines with 12 points and Trey Burke had 11.
Hardaway, Michigan’s leading scorer with a 17-point average, missed the last 14 minutes of the first half after picking up his second personal foul and scored just five.
The Cavaliers played stout defense in the first half, holding Michigan to 40 percent shooting, but missed numerous wide-open 3-point shots, finishing 3 for 10 from behind the arc.
“I’m not crazy with scoring 58 points, but not a lot of teams may score 58 against them,” Beilein said.
The game remained close early in the second half and was tied at 41 when Evan Smotrycz, who scored 10 for Michigan and was 4 for 4 from the field, went to the bench with his fourth foul. That coincided with the end of a rest for Scott, and he went to work immediately.
He first posted up against Hardaway, then rebounded a miss and scored on a short baseline jumper, giving Virginia a 45-41 lead with 9:05 to play. With the ball often working through Scott, Brogdon added a 3-pointer, Scott hit an 8-foot fadeaway and Harris had a 3-pointer to make it 53-41.
A 10-4 run to end the half gave Virginia a 24-23 lead at the break.
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