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Dec. 1, 2004

Box Score

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) – Virginia coach Pete Gillen knew he wouldn’t be able todictate the pace of Wednesday night’s game against Northwestern. So he focusedon defense instead.

Facing the Wildcats’ patient Princeton-style offense, Gillen had hisCavaliers play a 3-2 zone defense. It worked, barely, as No. 24 Virginiaimproved to 5-0 with a 48-44 win.

“I’ve been in a parking zone, a trading zone, and the ozone, but I’m not azone coach,” Gillen said. “But you can’t prepare for the Princeton offense.They got counters for everything and they’re a nightmare to play.”

Elton Brown led the Cavaliers with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while DevinSmith added 10 points.

Brown scored the first eight points of the game for the Cavaliers, who heldtheir fifth straight opponent to 60 points or less.

“Elton was great, he was our offense in the first half,” Gillen said.

Vedran Vukusic scored 16 points to lead Northwestern (1-4), which is off toits worst start since 1999-2000, when it opened 1-5.

“Some guys we’re counting on just aren’t coming through,” saidNorthwestern coach Bill Carmody, who came to the Wildcats from Princeton.

Neither team played particularly well. Virginia finished with 17 turnoversand shot just 44.4 percent, but Northwestern was worse, making 16 turnovers andshooting 37 percent.

The Wildcats looked lost at points against the zone, forcing up last-secondattempts and missing most of them. Point guard T.J. Parker was 2-of-11,including 2-of-8 on 3-pointers.

Vukusic tied it at 37 with a 3-pointer with 8:41 left, but the Cavaliersresponded with a 7-0 run over the next 3{ minutes. Sean Singletary hit a 3,Jason Clark had a putback and J.R. Reynolds scored on a layup to make it 44-37.

The Wildcats equaled the run to tie it again at 44 with 2:30 remaining whenVukusic hit a 3-pointer and two free throws.

But Virginia guard J.R. Reynolds hit a pair of free throws on the nextpossession and Brown hit one of two free throws with 14 seconds left.Singletary then fouled Parker before he could attempt a 3-pointer, which workedout when Parker missed the front end of a one-and-one.

Singletary closed it out with another free throw.

“Everybody stepped up and hit big shots,” Brown said.

Virginia led 23-19 at the half. Northwestern went scoreless for the last6:40 of the half after taking a 19-15 lead on Parker’s 3-pointer.

The Wildcats missed six shots and committed four turnovers in that span.Brown capped Virginia’s 8-0 run with a jumper in the lane.

“We made a lot of turnovers, we made a lot of mistakes,” Gillen said.”But we made enough plays to win.”

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