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CHARLOTTESVILLE—The Virginia men’s basketball team returns to John Paul Jones Arena on Thursday (Nov. 19) for a game with Rider. Thursday’s game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and is part of the Cancun Challenge.

The game will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network and is the first meeting between the two teams. Virginia enters the game with a 1-1 record, while Rider is 2-0.

The Cavaliers will be looking to get back on the winning track after a 66-49 loss at South Florida on Monday (Nov. 16). Virginia trailed by just four points (31-27) at halftime, but the Bulls scored the first nine points of the second half to open a 40-27 lead with 16:54 left in the game. UVa got no closer than 10 points the rest of the way. The Cavaliers shot just 27.3 percent (6-22) from the field in the second half and 32.7 percent (17-52) for the game.

“They (USF) certainly played a nice game,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said. “I thought early, that especially the first half we had real good looks and couldn’t capitalize when we got to the lane. We missed some really open shots, even some stuff at the rim, and I think that played heavy in our minds.”

Sophomore guard Sylven Landesberg was the only player to score in double figures for UVa with 14 points. Junior forward Mike Scott had nine points and five rebounds, but played only 16 minutes because of foul trouble. He fouled out of the game with 8:35 left to play.

Landesberg leads the Cavaliers in scoring and minutes played after the first two games, and is tied for the team lead in assists. He is averaging 18.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 33.5 minutes played a game.

Scott is averaging 10.5 points a game and leads the team in rebounding with an average of 9.0 rebounds per game. Junior guard Mustapha Farrakhan is also averaging in double figures in scoring with an average of 10.0 points a game. He is also averaging 3.0 assists a game.

Junior guard Jeff Jones is averaging 8.5 points a game and sophomore guard Sammy Zeglinski is averaging 8.0 points and 3.0 assists a game.

Rider opened its season with an 88-74 victory at then No. 18 Mississippi State last Friday (Nov. 13) and won its home opener 86-71 against Lehigh on Monday (Nov. 16). The Broncs, members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), were 19-13 last season and four starters return from that team.

The Broncs are led by 6-7 sophomore guard Novar Gadson who is averaging 20.5 points and 9.0 rebounds a game. Gadson is shooting 77.8 percent (14-18) from the field, including 5-5 from three-point range. He had 21 points and 11 rebounds in the victory over Mississippi State.

Senior guard Ryan Thompson is averaging 17.5 points and 5.0 rebounds a game. The 6-6 Thompson leads the team in three-point field goals with nine.

Junior guard Justin Robinson (6-2) is averaging 14.5 points a game and 6-7 junior forward Mike Ringgold is averaging 13.5 points and 7.0 rebounds a game.

As a team Rider is shooting 49.6 percent from the field, including 57.8 percent (26-45) from three-point range, and averaging 87.0 points a game.

Tommy Dempsey is in his fourth season as the Broncs’ head coach after serving one season as interim head coach. The last three seasons Rider has compiled an overall record of 58-39.

After the game with Rider the Cavaliers return to action on Saturday (Nov. 21) when they host Oral Roberts at John Paul Jones Arena. That game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

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