Justin Anderson had a game-high 16 points and Darion Atkins added a career-high 5 blocks on Saturday as Virginia snapped a two-game losing streak by defeating Northern Iowa 57-43 at JPJ. The Cavaliers started the second half with a 13-6 run to pull away from the Panthers on an afternoon in which offense was at a premium. The 'Hoos led 21-16 at halftime after both squads shot worse than thirty percent in the opening period.
Virginia head coach Tony Bennett went with a defense-heavy starting lineup on Saturday, inserting Atkins and Anderson and sliding Malcolm Brogdon into the point guard role. Anderson and Atkins steadied Virginia defensively until the offense "kicked in." Anderson also provided the game's main highlight with a Sportscenter-worthy block on a Panther layup attempt late in the second half. Virginia looked better defensively overall after giving up 75 points in a loss at Green Bay two weeks ago.
Anderson also led the charge offensively, scoring from beyond-the-arc and in transition. Senior Joe Harris added 12 points and freshman London Perrantes had 9 on a silky array of mid-range jumpers. Bennett limited his rotation severely on Saturday, with only six players receiving double digit minutes.
Virginia improved to 8-3 and picked up one of its better wins of the season. Northern Iowa sported an RPI in the nineties before the game and recently defeated VCU. The Wahoos resume their schedule with a home game against Norfolk State Monday night.