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Dec. 16, 2002


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The Game
Virginia (2001-2002: 17-12/7-9 ACC) stands at 3-2 this season. In its last game, UVa lost to then 21st-ranked Michigan State 82-75 (Dec. 4) in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in East Lansing, Mich. East Tennessee State (2001-2002: 18-10/11-5 Southern Conference) is 3-3 on the season. The Buccaneers are coming off a 106-70 home victory against Virginia-Wise (Dec. 14).

The Series vs. East Tennessee State
Tonight’s game is just Virginia’s third meeting against East Tennessee State with the Cavaliers winning the first two games. In the initial meeting in the 1985-86 season, UVa posted an 83-56 victory (Dec. 10) at University Hall. Last season, the Cavaliers won 85-62 (Nov. 18) at U-Hall.

Virginia vs. the Southern Conference
This is Virginia’s first of two games this season against schools from the Southern Conference. The Cavaliers will play Wofford College at University Hall on January 2.Virginia was one of the 13 original members of the “old” Southern Conference from 1922-37 and has a long and rich history of competition against the Southern Conference.

Against the 12 current members of the Southern Conference, the Cavaliers are 115-19 all-time. Most of the games were against VMI-a series Virginia leads 99-15. The Cavaliers are 2-0 vs. The Citadel and East Tennessee State, 1-0 vs. Appalachian State and the College of Charleston, and 10-4 against Davidson.

Of the Southern Conference’s current membership, Virginia has never faced Chattanooga, Furman, Georgia Southern, North Carolina-Greensboro, Western Carolina or Wofford.

There have been 40 other schools besides UVa that have been members of the Southern Conference at one time or another since 1922. These schools include many current members of the Southeastern Conference and the ACC. Virginia is 273-244 (.528) against these schools at the time they were in the Southern Conference.

Harper Reinstated
Sophomore guard Jermaine Harper has been reinstated to the team after being suspended for a violation of team rules. Harper missed the Cavaliers’ first five games of the season. He did not practice during the suspension.

Two Starting Times Changed
The starting times for Virginia’s games at Rutgers on December 21 and at Virginia Tech on January 21 have been changed. The Rutgers game will begin at 8:00 p.m. and the Virginia Tech contest will start at 7:30 p.m.

Non-Conference Teams at University Hall
Virginia is 195-29 (.871) all-time in University Hall against non-conference opponents since the building opened for the 1965-66 season. The Cavaliers have won 77 of their last 87 home games against non-conference opponents dating back to the 1989-90 season. UVa had its 15-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents snapped with a 74-67 loss to South Carolina in the first round of the 2002 National Invitation Tournament (Mar. 13). Virginia’s previous home non-conference loss was also in the NIT as the Cavaliers fell to Georgetown 115-111 in triple overtime in the first round of the 2000 NIT (Mar. 15).

The last time UVa lost a regular season home game to a non-conference opponent was December 12, 1998 when the Cavaliers fell to 12th-ranked St. John’s 95-68. Virginia has won 23 consecutive regular season home games against non-conference foes.

Tough Early Season Schedule
The Cavaliers played three nationally-ranked teams (Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan State) in their first five games of the season. It is the first time in school history the Cavaliers have played three of their first five games of a season against ranked teams. In the 1963-64, 1968-69, 1991-92 and 1996-97 seasons, UVa played two ranked teams in the first five games of the season.

Head Coach Pete Gillen
Pete Gillen is in his 18th season as a collegiate head coach and sports a 347-179 record for a .660 winning percentage. Gillen is in his fifth season at Virginia and has posted a 73-51 record (.589 winning percentage). Gillen won the 300th game of his career when Virginia defeated then 21st-ranked North Carolina 87-85 on January 18, 2000 at University Hall.

Gillen has led his teams to postseason play 14 times in 17 seasons (nine NCAA, five NIT), including the last three seasons at Virginia. He has been selected as the conference Coach of the Year five times – all while coaching Xavier (Midwestern Collegiate Conference).

A Busy Week After Final Exams
Tonight’s game against East Tennessee State is the Cavaliers’ first in 13 days (since falling to Michigan State 82-75 on Dec. 4). The game also marks the first of three games in five days for UVa. After playing the Bucs tonight, UVa hosts Gardner-Webb on Thursday (Dec. 19) and plays at Rutgers on Saturday (Dec. 21).

The Cavaliers then host three games in six days after Christmas. UVa hosts Georgetown on December 28, Liberty on December 30 and Wofford on January 2 before the start of ACC play on January 5 (at N.C. State).

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