Cavs Can't Get By Minnesota
Nov. 30, 1999
By JASON WOLF
Associated Press Writer
MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota coach Dan Monson stopped short of saying histeam was lucky to beat Virginia 74-62 in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game Tuesdayat Williams Arena.
But Monson acknowledged the game between two inexperienced teams – neitherteam has a senior on its roster – was ugly.
`It wasn’t a work of art by any stretch of the imagination,” he said. “Itwas a knockdown, tough game.”
Virginia (4-2), which was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Puerto RicoShootout, shot 36 percent, including 6-of-25 from 3-point range.
Offensively, the Gophers (4-0) were led by Terrance Simmons, who had 15points and six assists. Joel Przybilla had 14 points, including 10 in a10-minute stretch of the second half. J.B. Bickerstaff had 13 points and 10rebounds for his first double-double this year.
The game also saw Nick Sinville emerge as a presence on the Minnesota bench.He had 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including a key lay-in and two free throwsafter Dusty Rychart fouled out with 2:43.
“When Dusty went out, we needed somebody to step up and do the things thatDusty can do and Nick stepped up big time tonight,” Bickerstaff said.
The rest of the Minnesota bench had just three points.
Rychart, Minnesota’s leading scorer coming into the game, had eight pointsand eight rebounds.
Virginia was led by freshman Travis Watson’s 16 points and seven rebounds.Donald Hand, averaging a team-leading 17 points this year, had 13 points beforefouling out on 5-of-17 shooting.
Hand and Chris Williams, who made just 3-of-11 baskets, said Virginia’sinexperience showed as the Cavs kept failing to pull closer to the Gophersafter Minnesota opened up leads of six points three separate times in thesecond half.
“Maybe if we got a rebound, the game could have gone another way,” Handsaid. “We just have to get a little tougher as a whole team.”
Minnesota kept Virginia in the game by failing to extend each of its leads.
“Obviously, they pressured us out of a lot of the things we tried to do,”Monson said.
Virginia coach Pete Gillen said he doesn’t expect to win when his teamstruggles mightily from the field.
“Some of our veteran guys didn’t give us what they could give us,” Gillensaid. “That was my only disappointment.”
Minnesota’s zone defense and its ability to break the Virginia press helpedfend off several second-chance shots by the Cavaliers.
“It was just a respect for how explosive they are,” Monson said. “We hadto keep them off their rhythm as much as possible.”
Przybilla finally made his presence under the basket known in the secondhalf, bringing the crowd down with his thunderous dunks. The 7-foot-1 sophomorecenter had five rebounds, four assists and blocked three shots.
Virginia’s only lead of the first half came at 26-25 with 7:16 left whenDonald Hand hit a 3-pointer to end an 8-0 run by the Cavaliers.
Przybilla, a projected first-round pick when he decides to leave Minnesota,still has no offensive rebounds this season.