Junior center Olden Polynice scored 20 points and got 11 rebounds and sophomore guard Mel Kennedy had 18 points as the Virginia Cavaliers breezed to an 81-52 victory over the Pennsylvania Quakers last night in Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers, winning for the sixth time in seven games, improved to 11-4. Nine Virginia players scored, with Andrew Kennedy also in double figures with 11 points.

Penn (7-4) was led by junior center Bruce Lefkowitz with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Elzey had 14 points for the Quakers.

The win was Terry Holland's 242nd in 12 seasons at Virginia, moving him past Gus Tebell into second place in wins at the school.

"We played about as well as we could," said Holland. "Our guys off the bench played extremely well. That's why the final score was the way it was. All of our players played well."

Virginia, which opened a 12-2 lead only to have Penn close to 24-22, regained its 10-point margin. Mel Kennedy hit three straight jumpers and Andrew Kennedy and Tom Calloway each made two free throws in the final 3:13 of the opening half to give the Cavaliers a 36-26 halftime advantage.

Virginia broke the game open with an 11-0 run midway through the second half. Leading, 44-33, with just under 15 minutes to play, the Cavaliers got four straight baskets from Polynice, Andrew Kennedy's free throw and a drive by Calloway to make it 55-34 with 12 minutes remaining.

Penn, which has lost six straight games against Atlantic Coast Conference teams, came no closer than 17 the rest of the way.

Tom Schneider, the Quakers' first year coach, called Virginia a "very efficient, workmanlike team. They are well coached and they play good, active defense." Missouri 55, Oklahoma St. 51

In Columbia, Mo., Dan Bingenheimer scored 16 points and Jeff Strong 15 to lead the Tigers to a Big Eight Conference win over the Cowboys.

David Taylor's five points led a 12-4 burst by the Cowboys midway through the first period to give Oklahoma State an 18-16 lead with 9:50 remaining. Terry Faggins scored 14 of his 24 points in the half, which ended with the Cowboys (9-5, 0-1) ahead, 32-27.

Strong's six points sparked a 15-6 spree for the Tigers (14-5, 1-1), who took a 46-42 lead when Strong drove the lane and made a jump shot with 7:50 to go. Missouri then outscored the Cowboys by 6-2 to take a 52-47 lead at the 2:52 mark. Pitt 71, Providence 70

Darryl Shepherd hit a five-foot shot from the lane with 11 seconds left as the Panthers survived a second-half comeback by the Friars in a Big East Conference game in Pittsburgh.

Sophomore Charles Smith scored 24 points and Demetreus Gore 20 as the Panthers built second-half leads of seven points, only to see Providence take a 70-69 lead with two minutes to play on two layups by David Kipfer within 17 seconds.

Providence (8-7, 0-4) got the ball back with just over a minute left on a turnover, but Alan Roth missed a 15-foot shot as the 45-second clock wound down.

Pitt (11-4, 3-2) worked the ball into Shepherd, who took a stutter step in the lane and dropped the ball before picking it up and laying it in the basket over two Friars.

"It looked to me like he walked, what did you think?" Providence Coach Rick Pitino asked reporters. "It's the referee's discretion and he didn't make the call. That was a tough loss, but we've had a lot of tough losses . . . to St. John's and Villanova in overtime and Notre Dame by six points. I couldn't be prouder of our kids, the way they hustled."

Providence called time with eight seconds left and got the ball to Matt Palazzi, but his 15-footer was after the buzzer.