Virginia Hosts Third-Ranked Duke Thursday Night
Feb. 27, 2002
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –
Virginia stands at 16-9 overall and 6-8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season. The Cavaliers have lost their last three games and are coming off an 82-80 loss to Georgia Tech (Feb. 23) in Charlottesville, Va. Duke, ranked third in both the AP and USAToday/ESPN polls, stands at 25-2 overall and 12-2 in the ACC. The Blue Devils are coming off a 97-55 win over St. John’s (Feb. 24) in Durham, N.C.
The Series vs. Duke
Duke leads the all-time series with the Cavaliers 98-46. UVa lost the first meeting this season 94-81 (Jan. 27) in Durham after splitting the series with the Blue Devils in 2000-2001. Duke won the first meeting last season 103-61 (Jan. 13) in Durham, while the Cavaliers posted a 91-89 victory (Feb. 14) in Charlottesville, which snapped a 12-game slide to the Blue Devils. Duke has dominated the series in the last 19 years, winning 34 of the last 43 meetings since Ralph Sampson’s graduation from Virginia in 1983.
In addition to snapping the 12-game losing streak to the Blue Devils with its win last year, Virginia broke a six-game streak in which Duke reached triple digits. Prior to last season’s victory, the Cavaliers’ last win over Duke was a 77-66 triumph in Charlottesville on January 13, 1996. That was the last of four consecutive wins for the Cavaliers.
During Duke’s 12-game winning streak over UVa, the Blue Devils won in convincing fashion, winning by an average of 25.3 points per game. Duke has won by more than 40 points in four of the last 11 meetings (including UVa’s win last year). Only four of the last 14 games have been decided by fewer than 10 points, including UVa’s win last season and Duke’s nine-point overtime win (109-100) in the 1999-2000 season (Jan. 5). The Blue Devils also eked out a 62-61 win in Charlottesville on February 11, 1997 and a seven-point victory, 72-65, in Charlottesville on January 24, 1998.Virginia is 31-32 all-time against Duke on the Cavaliers’ various home floors throughout the years, including an 18-18 mark at University Hall.
Tonight’s game against Duke marks the final regular season home game for three Cavalier seniors. The three seniors playing in their last regular season home game at University Hall are Jason Dowling, Adam Hall and Chris Williams.
Virginia vs. Ranked Duke Teams
Tonight’s contest is the 13th consecutive game in which the Blue Devils have been ranked in the top 10 when playing the Cavaliers, dating back to the 1996-97 season. UVa had dropped 10 consecutive meetings (and 11 of the last 12) before winning last season 91-89 (Feb. 14) at University Hall when Duke was ranked third. The Blue Devils are currently ranked third in both The Associated Press and USAToday/ESPN Coaches polls.
In the past five seasons, Virginia has played Duke when the Blue Devils were ranked as the nation’s top team six times. In 1997-98 Duke was ranked #1 at the time of all three meetings. (Virginia became the first team in NCAA history to play the nation’s #1 team five times in one season when, in addition to three games vs. Duke, UVa also played North Carolina twice when it was atop the polls). In 1998-99, the Blue Devils were ranked #1 when they defeated UVa 100-54 in Charlottesville (Feb. 11) and 104-67 in the ACC Tournament (Mar. 4).
Overall, Virginia hasn’t fared well against a nationally-ranked Duke squad. The Cavaliers are 13-51 against a ranked Duke team, but are 3-5 vs. third-ranked Blue Devil squads. In its last two meetings vs. a #3 Duke team, Virginia defeated the Blue Devils 91-89 at home last season (Feb. 14) and lost 106-86 (Feb. 5) in Durham during the 1999-2000 season.
Virginia vs. #3
This is the 32nd time the Cavaliers have played the #3 ranked Associated Press team in the nation and the second time during the 2001-2002 season. UVa lost to third-ranked Maryland 91-87 (Jan. 31) at University Hall earlier this season. The Cavaliers are 6-25 against #3 teams (3-5 vs. Duke) and are 2-9 at home in those games.
Earlier This Season vs. Duke
Virginia played the top-ranked team in the country even for one half, but the Cavaliers got into foul trouble and fell to the Blue Devils 94-81 (Jan. 27) in Durham, N.C.
UVa went to the locker room tied with Duke at 42-42, but also had four frontcourt players, including all three starters, saddled with three personal fouls apiece. Duke shot 67.9 percent (19-28) from the field in the second half in outscoring the Cavaliers 52-39.
Junior guard Roger Mason, Jr., led Virginia with 15 points and five assists, while senior forward Chris Williams had 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Freshman forward Elton Brown had 12 points, while freshman forward Jason Clark scored a career-high 11 points, all of which came in the first half. Junior forward/center Travis Watson nearly recorded his 11th double-double of the season with a game-high 11 rebounds and nine points.
The Cavaliers trailed by as many as eight points (28-20) in the first half, but used a 10-1 run to take a 30-29 lead with 5:14 remaining in the opening stanza. Freshman guard Keith Jenifer made a pair of free throws with 32 seconds left in the first half to tie the game (for the seventh time) at 42-42 at the intermission.
UVa scored the opening basket of the second half, but the Blue Devils went on a 17-4 run from that point to open up a 59-48 lead five minutes into the half. UVa pulled within seven points, 61-54, with 13:28 to play, but could get no closer.
Duke shot 51.8 percent (29-56) from the field in the game, while the Cavaliers were 31 of 69 (44.9 percent). The big difference in the game was at the foul line where the Blue Devils made 30 of 46 attempts (65.2 percent), while UVa was only 16 of 24 (66.7 percent). Duke also held a 39-35 edge in rebounds.
Jason Williams led Duke with 27 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Carlos Boozer added 25 points and nine rebounds.
Hall Returns to Action
Senior guard/forward Adam Hall, who missed 10 games, is back in the Cavaliers’ lineup. Hall returned to action for Virginia February 20 against Florida State and started against Georgia Tech (Feb. 23). Hall also played against Maryland January 31, but missed the Cavaliers’ next five games before playing in the Florida State game. Hall missed a total of 10 games after injuring his right foot with 41 seconds left in UVa’s game against North Carolina (Jan. 12). Hall’s injury is a partial tear of the plantar fascia (dense tissue that supports the arch) on the bottom of his right foot.
Against Georgia Tech, Hall scored 15 points, grabbed six rebounds and had four steals. Hall played 24 minutes against Florida State and had six points, four rebounds and three assists. He played five minutes against Maryland and was 0-2 from the field and had one rebound.
Prior to his injury, Hall was averaging 9.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game this season, and was averaging 27.8 minutes per game. He started the first 11 games of the season, but came off the bench in UVa’s victory at North Carolina. Hall played 24 minutes and scored eight points with four steals, three assists and one rebound against the Tar Heels.