No. 8 Virginia cruises past UNC Greensboro 76-51 in opener

UNC-Greensboro’s Diante Baldwin, center, is trapped by Virginia’s Isaiah Wilkins, left, and London Perrantes, right, in the first half of Friday’s college basketball game in Greensboro, N.C. (Chuck Barton/Associated Press)
UNC-Greensboro’s Diante Baldwin, center, is trapped by Virginia’s Isaiah Wilkins, left, and London Perrantes, right, in the first half of Friday’s college basketball game in Greensboro, N.C. (Chuck Barton/Associated Press)

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Marial Shayok scored 15 points and No. 8 Virginia ran off a 22-0 run to beat UNC Greensboro 76-51 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.

Darius Thompson added 12 points for the Cavaliers, who shot 52 percent from the field and made 8 of 16 3-point attempts. Meanwhile the defense – the bedrock of Tony Bennett’s program – held the Spartans scoreless for more than 11 minutes spanning halftime as the game turned into a methodical rout.

It was a welcome first step for a team that lost a lot of production from its first trip to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight since 1995.

Francis Alonso scored 14 points for UNCG, which shot 37 percent. It marked the first time the program has hosted a ranked opponent in a season opener, though the Spartans ended up falling to 2-55 all-time against Atlantic Coast Conference teams.