Sophomore center Olden Polynice scored a career-high 20 points and Virginia made four of six free throws in the final 39 seconds tonight as the Cavaliers defeated Richmond, 57-52, to win the United Virginia Bank Invitational.
Polynice, who also had 10 rebounds, was named the tournament's most valuable player.
Tom Sheehey had 11 points for Virginia (3-1). Kelvin Johnson led Richmond (1-1) with 18 points.
The Cavaliers, missing nine of their first 10 shots, fell behind, 8-2, but recovered on the inside play of Polynice. Polynice, scoring six of his team's first eight points, drew three early fouls on Richmond freshman Steve Kratzer.
The Spiders maintained their lead on the outside shooting of guard Johnson. Johnson made seven of his first eight shots and Richmond led, 22-21, with 6:59 left in the half.
Virginia then outscored Richmond, 12-6, to take a 33-28 lead at intermission. Polynice finished the half with 11 points.
Virginia's lead grew to 39-32 early in the second half before Richmond scored seven straight points over a three-minute span.
Kratzer scored two baskets inside, John Davis one and John Newman added a free throw to tie score at 39-39 with 12:42 remaining.
Polynice responded with a three-point play and Tim Mullen made his third jump shot of the half to put Virginia back on top, 44-39, with 11:46 left.