CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Highly touted freshman Sean Singletary came to Virginia to play in the ACC. He arrived at a school picked to finish eighth in the conference and not expected to make much noise.
Two games into his college career, the former Philadelphia schoolboy star is already working to change that. He had 15 points and made several big plays Sunday night as the Cavaliers beat Arizona (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) 78-60.
"We just have something to prove," the 6-0 point guard said. "I know a lot of people are overlooking us. They picked us to be in the bottom of the ACC. We're just going to stay humble about this win.
"We're in the beginning of the season, so it's nothing to be all hyped up about. We're going to stay humble and go to practice and work hard," he said.
The Cavaliers (2-0) looked like the more highly touted team against the Wildcats (2-1), who left after the game for New York and a Preseason NIT semifinals game against Michigan on Wednesday night.
"We had a lot of energy, and they didn't," Singletary said.
Virginia led 34-22 at halftime and used several short runs to keep the Wildcats from rallying to any closer than nine in the second half.
"You have nightmare games like this, and we've got one nightmare out of the way, I guess," Wildcats coach Lute Olson said.
Arizona seemed a step slower than Virginia all night, in part because Singletary and backup T.J. Bannister kept the Cavaliers and the crowd in it.
"They both pass the ball," coach Pete Gillen said. "When you've got guys that pass it, that makes it more fun to play for everyone."
Singletary was 6-for-11 from the field and had eight assists -- many drawing oohs and ahs from the crowd -- six steals and five rebounds. His layup with 4:55 left and dazzling feed to Gary Forbes for another 50 seconds later ended the Wildcats' last push to get back in it.
"He ran the team well," said Devin Smith, who led the Cavaliers with 17 points.
Elton Brown had 15 and Forbes had 13. Virginia won despite going 4-for-17 on 3-point shots and turning the ball over 20 times.
Channing Frye led Arizona with 17 points, Hassan Adams had 14 and Salim Stoudamire had 13, nearly 10 below his average. The Wildcats shot just 39.7 percent, hit just 5-of-24 from beyond the arc and had 21 turnovers.
"Virginia outplayed us in every area you want to talk about," Olson said as he scanned the box score. "It seemed like any time that we went into the middle, they came out with the ball. They did a really nice job."
Virginia scored six of the first eight points in the second half to open a 40-24 lead, its largest to that point, before Arizona responded with an 8-2 run, pulling within 42-32 and prompting a Virginia timeout.
The Cavaliers must have heard something they liked from Gillen, scoring nine of the next 12 points to lead 51-35 with 13:37 left.
The Wildcats twice rallied to within nine but got no closer.
Arizona managed just three field goals in the last 11½ minutes of the first half as Virginia put together a 23-9 run to lead 34-22 at halftime.
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