CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Assane Sene tipped in a missed free throw with 4.8 seconds to play Monday night and Virginia overcame a brutal performance to beat Norfolk State 50-49.
The Cavaliers (8-3) won their fifth straight, and second in a row with injured scoring and rebounding leader Mike Scott, but badly missed him against the upset-minded Spartans.
Norfolk State (1-8) lost its seventh straight but barely. The tip-in by Sene was just his sixth field goal of the season, and came in a game in which the Cavaliers were outrebounded 43-36. Sene had 12 to lead all rebounders.
The Spartans used a 12-3 run to take a 38-33 lead in the second half, and the Cavaliers scrambled the rest of the way to beat a team they were expected to handle without trouble.
Chris McEachin hit consecutive 3-pointers and had seven points in the burst.
Virginia pulled even at 45 on KT Harrell's 10-footer with 5:31 left, and neither team scored again until Rodney McCauley's driving basket for Norfolk State with 1:47 to play. McCauley was fouled and missed the shot, and Farrakhan's 3-pointer from the top of the key put Virginia ahead 48-47 with 1:29 left before the teams again went cold.
Hampton was fouled with 23.8 seconds left, and made both shots to give the lead back to the Spartans. Sammy Zeglinski's ensuing 3-point shot for Virginia rimmed out, but Harrell got the rebound and was fouled. He missed both, but the 7-foot Sene tipped in the game-winner.
Virginia took a 41-40 lead on a 3-pointer by Zeglinski and Will Regan's basket inside, but the Cavaliers turned it over on their next three possessions. Norfolk State scored five straight to go ahead 45-41, before the Cavaliers rallied and pulled even.
The first half was brutal for both sides.
Virginia led 17-10 after 12 minutes, then went nine consecutive possessions without scoring. The Spartans weren't much better, but scored six straight points.
The Spartans shot 25 percent (7 for 28) in the half, and Virginia was at 29.6 percent (8 for 27).