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CHARLOTTESVILLE—The Virginia men’s basketball team returns to action on Monday (Nov. 16) when the Cavaliers play South Florida in Tampa. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Monday’s game will be televised in the Tampa area by the Bright House Sports Network and will also be available nationally on the ESPN Full Court package and online at The game will also be carried on the Virginia Sports Radio Network.

Virginia opened its 2009-10 season under new head coach Tony Bennett with an 85-72 victory over Longwood at the John Paul Jones Arena last Friday (Nov. 13). UVa has now won its last 12 season openers and its last 13 home openers.

“It is exciting, “ Bennett said. “The arena is just beautiful, you walk in and look around and see all the ring lights for the first time. There is such an atmosphere. I was thankful for the opportunity and a little nervous about how we were going to show. I felt good at halftime and did not feel so good in the second half as they were cutting into the lead, but I am excited for the future. I know there will be some growing pains, but I am glad the first win is under our belt.”

The Cavaliers led 22-18 with 7:53 left in the first half before closing the half with a 27-9 run to take a 49-27 lead at the half. Longwood closed within eight points at 64-56 with 9:40 remaining in the game, but that was as close as the Lancers got.

Virginia limited Longwood to 40 percent (12-30) shooting from the field in the first half, but the Lancers shot 54.8 percent (17-31) in the second half, including 60 percent (6-10) from three-point range.

“We struggled a little bit defensively in the second half,” Bennett said. “That might be an understatement – they had us on our heels. It is no secret that we have a lot of work to do, and it is going to be a long journey. As a credit to them, they run good stuff and they know how to score the ball, but they made it look easy at times to score against our defense.”

All five of the Cavaliers’ starters scored in double figures in the victory over Longwood. Sophomore guard Sylven Landesberg scored a game-high 23 points and added six rebounds and four assists. It’s the 13th time in his career Landesberg has scored at least 20 points in a game.

Junior guard Mustapha Farrakhan tied his career high with 17 points, had a career-high five rebounds and tied his career high with four assists. Sophomore guard Sammy Zeglinski scored 14 points, tied his career high with six rebounds and had four assists in 37 minutes. Junior forward Mike Scott had the 11th double-double of his career with 12 points and 13 rebounds, and junior guard Jeff Jones added 10 points.

Virginia shot 60 percent (30-50) from the field against the Lancers. It marked the first time the Cavaliers shot 60 percent or higher in a game since shooting 61.0 percent (36-59) in a 96-50 win over Long Island University in the opening game of the 2000-01 season on Nov. 17, 2000.

UVa shot 42.9 percent (6-14) from three-point range and 79.2 percent (19-24) from the free-throw line against Longwood. The Cavaliers also out-rebounded the Lancers 36-21.

Virginia’s game with South Florida on Monday is the second in the series between the two teams. The Cavaliers defeated the Bulls 77-75 in Charlottesville last season as Landesberg scored 21 points to lead four double figure scorers for UVa.

UVa will be looking to break a 10-game losing streak in the state of Florida. Virginia has not won in Florida since defeating Florida State 69-66 in Tallahassee on Feb. 17, 2001.

USF opened its 2009-10 season with a 67-61 victory over Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tex., last Friday (Nov. 13).

Sophomore center Augustus Gilchrist had team-high totals of 23 points and nine rebounds to lead the Bulls. His 23 points are a career high.

Senior guard Chris Howard had 14 points and seven assists for the Bulls, and junior guard Dominique Jones scored 13 points and had six assists.

USF shot 48.9 percent from the field in the victory over SMU.

The Bulls are coached by Stan Heath who is in his third season as head coach at USF and his ninth season as a collegiate head coach. USF finished the 2008-09 season with an overall record of 9-22 and a 4-14 record in the Big East Conference.

After the game at USF, Virginia returns to Charlottesville for a game with Rider on Thursday (Nov. 19). That game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena and tickets are available.

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