LAHAINA - A sign in the Virginia booster section read "Anyone but Chaminade."
One day after being blown out, the Cavaliers handled that assignment with a rout of their own, beating Oklahoma 74-56 in an EA Sports Maui Invitational consolation game Tuesday at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Virginia (3-2) will take on Wichita State for fifth place today at 2:30 p.m.
Oklahoma’s Nick Thompson battles Virginia’s Will Sherrill for a first-half rebound in front of Cameron Clark.
The Maui News / AMANDA COWAN photo
The Sooners (3-2) will play for seventh place at 9:30 a.m. today against Chaminade, the Division II tournament host - and giant killer of top-ranked Virginia in 1982, an upset that spurred the creation of the Maui Invitational.
"I didn't know how we would respond after getting handled that easily last night," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said, referring to a 106-63 loss to Washington, ranked 13th by The Associated Press, in the final game of the first day. "We certainly got too impatient against Washington, but I knew there was character on this team and I implored us to find it today. The level of composure was much better today."
Mike Evans had a career-high 27 points for Virginia and also grabbed 15 rebounds, best so far in this year's tournament. Fellow seniors Will Sherrill and Mustapha Farrakhan added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Sherrill 4-10 0-0 11, Scott 7-15 13-15 27, Evans 2-3 1-2 5, Harris 3-4 0-0 8, Harrell 0-5 0-0 0, Farrakhan 5-7 0-3 10, Regan 1-1 0-0 2, Sene 1-1 2-3 4, Baron 2-6 1-4 7. Totals 25-52 17-27 74.
Fitzgerald 3-4 3-3 9, Thompson 0-3 0-0 0, Pledger 2-7 0-0 5, Clark 0-2 0-2 0, Davis 6-12 0-1 15, Washington 2-6 0-0 4, Newell 1-3 0-0 2, Blair 2-2 0-0 4, Neal 4-6 6-6 16, Honore' 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 20-45 10-14 56.
Halftime-Virginia 40-25. 3-Point Goals-Virginia 7-18 (Sherrill 3-9, Harris 2-2, Baron 2-5, Harrell 0-2), Oklahoma 6-17 (Davis 3-7, Neal 2-4, Pledger 1-4, Newell 0-1, Clark 0-1). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Virginia 32 (Scott 15), Oklahoma 30 (Neal 6). Assists-Virginia 14 (Evans 6), Oklahoma 9 (Newell 3). Total Fouls-Virginia 16, Oklahoma 18. Technical-Oklahoma Bench. A-2,400.
The Cavaliers jumped to 12-0, 16-2 and 35-14 leads in the first half and had a 40-25 advantage at halftime. The Sooners had just two players in the scoring column - Andrew Fitzgerald and Cade Davis - until Steven Pledger joined them with 2 minutes, 17 seconds to go in the first half. Pledger's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 35-20, but the closest Oklahoma got after that was eight points, at 41-33.
Virginia went on a 16-5 run from that point to basically put things out of reach with 11:28 to play.
Neal Tyler scored 16 points for the Sooners, 13 of those in the second half. Davis added 15 and Fitzgerald nine, but no one else had more than five.
"Congratulations to Virginia - they played better than us," Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said. "I didn't think we came ready to play and it showed. We dug such a hole that we couldn't get out of it. Our carelessness with the basketball doomed us all morning, afternoon long."
The Sooners committed 17 turnovers and the Cavaliers nine. Virginia had a 24-4 advantage in points off turnovers.
Oklahoma opened with a 76-64 loss to No. 8 Kentucky.
"I think what happened with us is we lost this game yesterday," Capel said Tuesday. "With a young team like we have, I think we had some guys who were satisfied. A lot of them were getting a lot of texts, a lot of calls telling them that they were right there against Kentucky. You look at the way Virginia lost yesterday and they responded."
Virginia had lost to Stanford before arriving on Maui.
"We talked about our defensive breakdowns and we just addressed those," said the Cavaliers' Mike Scott. "As a senior captain I needed to step up, we just needed a short memory and come out guns blazing on offense and defense. I just wanted to be aggressive. I wasn't against Stanford and not against Washington either. If I wasn't going to be involved on an offensive play, I wanted to get the offensive rebound. We were able to get it done today."
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com