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Nov. 23, 2002


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The Game
Virginia opened the 2002-2003 season with a 90-86 victory over Long Island University Friday (November 22) at University Hall. UVa finished the 2001-2002 season with a 17-12 overall record and a 7-9 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference in Pete Gillen’s fourth year as Virginia’s head coach. Chaminade University concluded the 2001-2002 season with a 16-11 overall record and an 8-7 mark in the Pacific West. The Silverswords opened their 2002-2003 season Friday night (November 22) with a 75-70 loss to St. Mary’s (Texas).

Cavaliers Successfully Open Season for 78th Time
Virginia began the 2002-2003 season with a 90-86 win over Long Island University Friday evening (Nov. 22), marking the 78th season-opening victory for the Cavaliers in 98 opportunities. That is a .796 winning percentage. The Cavaliers have now won 14 of their last 16 season openers dating back to 1987-88. Virginia’s last loss in a season opener was in 1997-98 when it dropped an 83-79 double overtime decision at Richmond.

Head coach Pete Gillen improved to 16-2 in season openers as a collegiate head coach and has now won 13 straight, including the last five at Virginia. He was 7-2 at Xavier (1986-94) and 4-0 at Providence (1995-98) in season openers.

The Series vs. Chaminade
Today’s game is Virginia’s fifth meeting with Chaminade University. The previous four games have been played in Hawaii. UVa leads the series 3-1, but the Cavaliers’ lone loss in the series is considered by many to be one of the biggest upsets in collegiate basketball. Virginia won the first two meetings in the 1979-80 and 1981-82 seasons by scores of 79-54 and 75-59, respectively. The Silverswords upset the top-ranked Cavaliers 77-72 on December 23, 1982. In the last meeting, UVa registered a 66-58 victory on December 26, 1987.

‘Hoos Next
The Cavaliers will play either Arizona State or Kentucky in their second game of the Maui Invitational on Tuesday, November 26. If UVa defeats Chaminade, the Cavaliers advance in the winner’s bracket and will play Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. If Virginia loses to the Silverswords, it will play Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

UVa is 1-0 all-time against Arizona State and 2-6 versus Kentucky.

Eighth Time to the Aloha State
This is the eighth time in school history the Cavaliers have traveled to Hawaii to play, including three trips during Ralph Sampson’s career at Virginia. UVa has registered a 10-6 record in its seven previous trips to Hawaii. This is Virginia’s third time participating in the Maui Invitational. UVa made its first appearance in the inaugural event in 1984 (then called the Hawaiian Airlines Silversword Invitational) and participated in the 1996 tournament, advancing to the championship game.

Virginia’s first trip to Hawaii occurred during the 1979-80 season when the Cavaliers defeated BYU-Hawaii 82-64 and Chaminade 79-54 during Sampson’s freshman year.

The Cavaliers returned two years later (December of 1981) just after the first semester exam period and defeated Chaminade 75-59 and BYU-Hawaii 118-84. Virginia suffered its first loss in Hawaii when the Cavaliers were upset by Chaminade 77-72 on December 24, 1982.

During the last three trips to Hawaii, Virginia has participated in several tournaments, starting with the Hawaiian Airlines Silversword Invitational to begin the 1984-85 season. UVa lost to Providence 75-71 in overtime in the first round and then defeated Davidson 69-65.

The Cavaliers returned to Hawaii to play in the Chaminade Christmas Classic in December 1987. They lost to Oklahoma in the opening round 109-61, but rebounded to defeat Georgia 87-54 and Chaminade 66-58.

The Cavaliers opened the 1996-97 season by advancing to the championship game of the Maui Invitational. They downed South Carolina 93-70 in the first round, and UMass 75-68 in the semifinals before losing to Kansas 80-63 in the finals.

In its last trip to the Aloha State in December of 1997, UVa won one of three games in the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. The Cavaliers lost to Nebraska 80-65 (Dec. 27), defeated Brigham Young 72-54 (Dec. 29) and lost to New Mexico State in overtime 87-82 (Dec. 30).

Three Experimental Rules Being Used
Three experimental rules will be used in the Maui Invitational. The three experimental rules are:
* Widening the free-throw lane by two feet on each side (a repeat of this past season’s experimental rule).
* Moving the three-point line nine inches behind the current three-point line to create a new experimental distance of 20 feet, 6 inches.
* Relocating the free throw lane block between the first free throw lane space adjacent to the end line and the next lane space on both sides of the lane.

Another Double-Double
Senior forward/center Travis Watson picked up where he left off last season as he recorded his first double-double of the season with 26 points and 13 rebounds in UVa’s season-opening 90-86 win over Long Island (Nov. 22). Watson’s double-double is the 39th of his career, the most of any active ACC player. Watson, who recorded an ACC-best 17 double-doubles last year, also had double-doubles in both of UVa’s 2002-2003 exhibition games.

New Career High for Clark
Sophomore forward Jason Clark scored 12 points -all in the second half – in the Cavaliers’ 90-86 win over Long Island (Nov. 22) to establish a new career high. Clark’s former career-best was 11 points against Duke (Jan. 27, 2002). He made four of six shots from the field and four of five attempts from the free throw line.

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