Virginia head coach Tony Bennett went to his bench early Saturday night, and it resulted in a Justin Anderson explosion. Anderson entered the game along with Mike Tobey, Darion Atkins and Evan Nolte at the 13:53 mark with Virginia down 11-3. Behind Anderson, Virginia quickly erased the early deficit and cruised to an 83-63 victory over Missouri State. The Hoos clinched the Corpus Christi Classic championship with the win. The title is the first early-season tournament triumph for Virginia in recent memory.
Anderson put on quite the display in the first half, scoring 17 points. The sophomore scored at will from inside and out, knocking down a barrage of three-pointers and adding a couple of nifty slashes for layups. Anderson finished with 23 points on 10-for-13 shooting and ended only one point shy of his career high.
Not to be outdone, Virginia senior Joe Harris finished with 15 points. Harris was 5-for-6 shooting, including 4-5 from three-point range. The senior also provided the most highlight-worthy moment of the night when he posterized a Missouri State defender with a one-handed dunk early in the second half. Harris drew a foul on the drive and completed the three-point play. The dunk sent the Twitter feeds ablaze. #Swoon indeed.
With the win, Virginia improved its record to 7-1 on the season. The Hoos return to action Wednesday at JPJ when they tangle with tenth-ranked Wisconsin in the ACC-Big Ten challenge. Virginia beat Wisconsin in Madison last year. Tip off is at 7PM and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2. Fans are encouraged to tour the first floor Virginia basketball "hall of fame," where this writer hopes the Corpus Christi Challenge trophy will be prominently displayed.