Virginia Opens Preseason With Victory
Nov. 10, 2002
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia men’s basketball team began the exhibition portion of the 2002-03 season with an 84-60 victory over Big Apple Basketball Sunday afternoon (Nov. 10) at University Hall. The Cavaliers’ starting front court of senior forward/center Travis Watson (Brookneal, Va.), junior center Nick Vander Laan (Sacramento, Calif.) and sophomore forward Elton Brown (Newport News, Va.) combined for 69 points and 47 rebounds.
Watson picked up where he left off last year and recorded a double-double with a game-high 32 points and 17 rebounds. Watson connected on 14 of 22 shots from the field, including three of six attempts from three-point range. He also added three assists, two steals and a blocked shot. In his first game as a Cavalier, Vander Laan grabbed a game-high 24 rebounds, including 13 offensive, and added 14 points for a double-double. Brown made 10 of 20 attempts from the field en route to 23 points. He also pulled down six rebounds. Junior guard Todd Billet (Middletown, N.J.) rounded out UVa’s double digit scorers with 13 points. He also contributed five rebounds and three assists. Watson, Brown, Vander Laan and Billet combined to score 82 of UVa’s 84 points. Senior center/forward Jason Rogers (Staunton, Va.) was the only other Cavalier to score as he had two points.
Virginia shot 44.7 percent (34-76) from the field in the game while holding Big Apple Basketball to 34.3 percent (23-67) shooting from the floor. The Cavaliers also held a 63-37 advantage in rebounding, including a 29-14 edge on the offensive glass. UVa shot 52.6 percent (20-38) in the first half as it took a 47-28 lead at the intermission.
Forward Michael Tabb led Big Apple Basketball with 19 points, a game-high four blocked shots and five rebounds. Forward Roberto Gittens added 13 points and eight rebounds, while former Cavalier guard Harold Deane contributed 10 points and three assists.
The Cavaliers used just eight players in the game as sophomores Jason Clark (Virginia Beach, Va.), Jermaine Harper (Gardena, Calif.) and Keith Jenifer (Baltimore, Md.) were serving a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules. Junior Majestic Mapp (Harlem, N.Y.), sophomore Devin Smith (New Castle, Del.) and freshman Derrick Byars (Memphis, Tenn.) missed the game with injuries.
The Cavaliers conclude the exhibition season with a game against the One World All-Stars on Sunday, November 17 at University Hall. The game will begin at 3:00 p.m. Virginia opens the regular season on November 22 when it hosts Long Island University at University Hall. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.