CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Virginia guard Justin Anderson was talking about his unbeaten team’s latest victory when he interrupted himself to greet a locker room visitor.
“I’ve always wanted to meet you. How are you doing?” Anderson said as he shook hands with retired NBA player Shane Battier.
“Nice game,” Battier said. “Keep shooting that thing.”
“Yes sir. Thank you,” Anderson said.
The junior kept shooting Saturday, even after his last-second foul in regulation nearly cost the third-ranked Cavaliers the game. He redeemed himself with several key plays to help Virginia beat Miami 89-80 in double overtime.
The Cavaliers squandered a 19-point first-half lead and then came from behind in both extra periods.
“We knew the game was never over and we had to play to zero, and we did a good job of that,” Anderson said.
Virginia never led in the first OT, but Anderson made three free throws and a game-tying 3-pointer in the final 20 seconds to force the second extra period.
Anderson gave the Cavaliers their first lead since regulation when he scored with 3:41 to go in the second overtime, and they pulled away from there. Sophomore London Perrantes scored a career-high 26 points for Virginia, going 5 of 9 from 3-point range, and added eight assists.
The Cavaliers (13-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) are off to their best start since 1980-81. Miami (10-4, 0-1 ACC) lost for the fourth time in the past six games.
“That was for me very painful,” Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said. “Our guys dug a big hole in the first half. We were down, and it looked like we were out. We came out in the second half and played terrific, but in the second overtime we clearly ran out of gas.”
Four Hurricanes played 39 minutes or more, and guard Sheldon McClellan was on the court for all 50. Miami shot 5 for 17 in the overtime periods, including 1 for 7 from 3-point range.
“Bottom line is we just didn’t get it done,” said junior Angel Rodriguez, who had a career-high 25 points and seven assists.
The Hurricanes trailed for more than 36 consecutive minutes before Rodriguez was fouled by Anderson and made three free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining to force overtime.
Anderson shrugged off his mistake.
“It was a new game, a new five minutes,” he said. “That’s what I had to tell myself — get back in the groove.”
In the first overtime, Rodriguez made two free throws with 21 seconds left to put the Hurricanes ahead 71-68 before Virginia mounted its comeback.
“It showed we’re a composed team,” said Darion Atkins, who had 12 rebounds. “We did what we had to do. Honestly, seeing their faces in the second overtime, they gave up.”
Anderson scored 16 points in 46 minutes, and Mike Tobey added 14. Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon fouled out with eight points, five below his average, in 26 minutes.
The Cavaliers made their first five 3-point shots and built early leads of 21-9 and 34-15. It was 38-20 at halftime.
Virginia: The game will hurt the Cavaliers’ scoring defense average of 48.3 points, which ranked second in the nation. But they held an opponent under 50 percent shooting for the 38th consecutive conference game. Miami shot 40 percent.
Miami: The Hurricanes didn’t get to the free throw line until 31 minutes into the game, and then finished 17 for 24.
The Cavaliers improved to 1-6 in Coral Gables.
“I was telling a couple of Miami fans on the sideline, we’re always in for a good one when we come here,” Anderson said. “They make it tough for us.”
Virginia won for only the second time in its past 19 games in Florida.
Virginia hosts North Carolina State on Wednesday.
Miami hosts Boston College next Saturday.
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