Virginia made just four field goals in the last 11 minutes of the game, but made 19 of 23 free throws in that span to defeat Virginia Military, 68-57, in Cameron Hall tonight.
Cavaliers forward Jim Miller dunked a miss by Darrick Simms with 11:04 to play to end a 3 1/2-minute scoreless stretch and give the Cavaliers (4-1) a 41-35 lead. When Miller (11 points) scored on a fast break with 6:03 to play, Virginia led, 52-37.
In between, the Keydets (2-3) made one of seven shots and turned the ball over three times, while the Cavaliers made seven of eight foul shots and Miller hit a turnaround jumper.
The lead changed hands 10 times in the first 11 minutes as the Keydets converted long-range jumpers from behind solid screens. The Cavaliers took the lead for good on a jump shot from the top of the key by Simms that made it 15-14 with 9:19 left until halftime.
VMI, which hit seven of its first 14 shots, made four of its last 14 as the Virginia defenders began to fight through the picks to contest shots.
"Our guys tightened up on defense," said Virginia Coach Terry Holland. "And we got more pressure on the ball and that forced some of their shots."
Leading by four at intermission, Virginia opened a 39-29 advantage with 14:35 left by continuing its good defense and keeping the Keydets off the offensive boards. VMI's 14-11 rebounding margin in the first half led to a five-shot edge in field goals attempted after 20 minutes. Virginia outrebounded VMI, 21-16, in the second half.
Sheehey led Virginia with 15 points, Tim Mullen had 12. Cedric Wins had 19 and Elmore 17 for VMI.