Virginia upsets Minnesota
The University of Virginia Cavaliers pulled off an 87-79 win over the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers on Monday.
Joe Harris led all scorers with 24 points while Mustapha Farrakhan fired a career-high 23 points to power the Cavaliers over the 15th-ranked Gophers in Minneapolis. Mike Scott added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the visitors, who handed Minnesota its first
defeat of the season.
Blake Hoffarber led Minnesota with 19 points while Trevor Mbakwe and Devoe Joseph added 18 and 16, respectively.
The outcome of the game was not expected as Minnesota raced to an early 14-5 lead and seemed to be headed for another easy win. But it was not the case as Virginia proved to be the better squad.
Thanks to the sweet shooting of Farrakhan, the Cavaliers kept pace with the Gophers who only led by ten at half-time.
Farrakhan, grandson of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, scored 14 points in the first half as he went 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.
The Cavaliers’ hard-work eventually paid off in the second half when they finally took the lead after a 12-1 run. A trey from Will Sherrill gave Virginia a 49-48 advantage with 13:23 remaining in the game. The Cavaliers extended their lead to 57-52 before
unleashing another run to go up 61-54 with under nine minutes to play.
The visitors maintained their lead as the Gophers, who played minus injured point guard Al Nolen, struggled to keep up. It was a huge win for Virginia, which previously lost to Washington and Wichita State in the Maui Invitational. They notched their fourth
win in seven games.
“It’s a huge win. We had a couple of good days of practice and the coaches kept stressing that this was a very tough place to play. We’re real happy to get this play,” Harris said.
Scott, for his part, said other teams should not underestimate them.
“I think everybody thought we’d come in here and get blown out of the gym. I think the only ones who thought we could win were our coaches. They kept stressing that this was a tough place to play, whether they’re ranked or not, but they had confidence that
we could win the game,” he said.
Virginia will shoot for its second straight win when it battles Virginia Tech on 5 December. Minnesota, which earlier won the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, will try to bounce back when it takes on Cornell on 4 December.