November 24, 2019 / 8:25 PM / 20 days ago

No. 7 Virginia escapes Arizona State to win seventh November title

Casey Morsell scored 19 points and No. 7 Virginia survived a 19-0 run by Arizona State for a 48-45 win in the Air Force Reserve Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament championship game Sunday in Uncasville, Conn.

The Cavaliers (6-0) won their seventh consecutive November tournament title and ended a three-game winning streak by the Sun Devils (3-2).

Virginia was scoreless for nearly seven minutes to start the second half as Arizona State built a 35-26 lead with 13:32 remaining.

The Cavaliers tightened their play at the defensive end and retook the lead at 40-39 on two free throws by Morsell with 4:04 left.

UVA held the Sun Devils without a field goal for nearly eight minutes until Romello White’s layup put ASU back in front at 41-40 with 3:41 left.

Morsell’s 3-pointer put Virginia ahead 48-45 with 1:03 remaining and Mamadi Diakite blocked a 3-point shot by Rob Edwards with 47 seconds left to preserve the lead. Arizona State had one final shot, but Edwards’ last-second 3-point attempt was short.

Remy Martin scored 21 points to lead the Sun Devils. Edwards and White each had 10 points.

Morsell, a freshman, had scored a combined 12 points on 13.9 percent (5 of 36) shooting in his first five games. He made 7 of 12 shots Sunday. Diakite added 15 points for the defending national champions, who have won 12 straight games dating back to last year’s ACC Tournament semifinals.

Virginia is 92-2 under coach Tony Bennett when holding teams under 50 points (5-0 this season).

The Sun Devils, who came in averaging 83.3 points per game, managed only 10 points in the first 16:19 of the contest.

Virginia bolted to a 10-2 lead behind two 3-pointers by Diakite. Morsell scored the final eight points of the half for the Cavaliers with three layups and a dunk to extend the lead to 26-16.

Martin answered with a layup and then beat the halftime buzzer with a 3-pointer, giving him 11 points in the half and slicing the Sun Devils’ deficit 26-21.

UVA won championships at the Corpus Christi Challenge (2013), Barclays Center Classic (2014), Charleston Classic (2015), Emerald Coast Classic (2016), NIT Season Tip-Off (2017) and the Battle 4 Atlantis (2018) in its previous six November tourneys.

—Field Level Media

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