Mike Scott Career-High Helps Virginia Escape Seattle, 83-77

Roger SagerCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2011

Mike Scott showed why he earned ACC Player of the Week honors by scoring a career-high 33 points versus Seattle.
Mike Scott showed why he earned ACC Player of the Week honors by scoring a career-high 33 points versus Seattle.Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

After enjoying Oregon Ducks on Sunday, Virginia's Cavaliers found Seattle Redhawks a little tougher to swallow on their last night in the Pacific Northwest.

Newly ranked Virginia (AP, 24th) overcame a half-time deficit for the second game in a row as they barely held off a determined Seattle University squad, 83-77.  

Mike Scott, recently named the ACC Player of the Week, had a career-high 33 points to help Virginia overcome another shaky first half, which saw the Cavaliers trailing 38-36 at the break.  

Virginia's halftime deficit might have been far worse had it not been for Scott, who made his last eight shots of the half.

Joe Harris, who originally committed to Coach Tony Bennett while he was at Washington State, and then elected to follow him east, chipped in with seven first-half points in front of almost 300 friends and family, who trekked just over 100 miles from his hometown of Chelan to welcome him home.

Harris finished with 14 points for the game.

Virginia came out in the second half with more defensive intensity.  While the Cavaliers held Seattle to just one of nine shooting to start the second half, they opened up an eight point lead that soon grew to as much as 14, at 63-49.

They appeared to be safely on their way to victory. 

But the Redhawks weren't done. Over the next 5:01, Seattle went on a 19-4 tear aided by five Virginia turnovers, to retake a one-point lead at 68-67 with just 3:28 to play.


Fresh out of a Tony Bennett timeout (to regroup his flustered team), Sammy Zeglinski hit a three-pointer to give Virginia a lead that they would not relinquish. 

Twice, Seattle cut the lead to one in the closing minutes, but clutch free throw shooting by Virginia freshman Malcolm Brogdon (who hit 6-6 down the stretch), would hold them at bay.

Fittingly, on the biggest night of his career, Mike Scott would add the last five Virginia points to cement the win.

The Cavaliers, who are ranked for the first time in Tony Bennett's tenure at UVA, return home to entertain Maryland Eastern Shore on December 27.