Cavaliers Host No. 24 UAB On Wednesday
CHARLOTTESVILLE—The Virginia men’s basketball team returns to action on Wednesday (Dec. 30) at John Paul Jones Arena against nationally-ranked University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The Blazers are ranked No. 24 in this week’s Associated Press poll and are the first ranked opponent the Cavaliers have faced this season.
Wednesday’s game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and reserved seat tickets are available at a cost of $15 each. Family Packages are also available for the game with UAB. Family Packages include four tickets, four hot dogs and four 22-ounce sodas. The cost of a Family Package for the UAB game is $48 with additional tickets costing $12 each.
The Virginia-UAB game will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network.
UVa enters the game with a 6-4 record and the Cavaliers have not played since defeating Hampton 80-54 at JPJA on Dec. 23 for their second consecutive victory.
Sophomore guard Sylven Landesberg led Virginia to its victory over Hampton. Landesberg had the first double-double of his career with 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds against the Pirates. He also had a season-high six assists. Landesberg has scored in double figures every game this season.
Sophomore guard Sammy Zeglinski added 13 points and junior guard Mustapha Farrakhan scored 10 points for the Cavaliers against the Pirates. Virginia finished with season-high totals of 22 assists (on 30 made field goals), 11 made three-point field goals and seven blocked shots. Sophomore center Assane Sene had a career-high five blocked shots against Hampton.
“Early on I thought that was the most unselfish our team had been,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said after the Hampton game. “The ball was touching the paint – guys were making the extra pass and getting rhythm shots. Then we got on the offensive glass and fell into some easy rebounds. We had one of the best halves of sharing the basketball and I think our assist-to-turnover ratio showed that in the first half when it was 14-to-2.”
Landesberg leads Virginia in scoring, assists and minutes played with averages of 15.9 points, 2.7 assists and 30.7 minutes played a game.
Junior forward Mike Scott, who has missed the last three games with a sprained ankle, leads the team in rebounding and is second in scoring. Scott is averaging 9.3 rebounds and 13.1 points a game, and is shooting 57.4 percent (39-68) from the field.
Zeglinski is the third Virginia player averaging in double figures in scoring with an average of 10.8 points a game and he is shooting 47.2 percent (25-53) from three-point range.
As a team, the Cavaliers are averaging 69.8 points a game while allowing an average of 58.9 points a game.
UAB, a member of Conference USA, is 11-1 on the season and the Blazers have won their last 10 games. The 11-1 start is the best for UAB since the 1993-94 season when it started with a 13-1 mark, which is also the best start in school history. The Blazers are coming off a 67-57 victory at home over then No. 16 Butler on Dec. 22.
Elijah Millsap, a 6-6 junior guard, leads UAB in scoring, rebounding and steals. Millsap is averaging 15.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals a game. Senior forward Howard Crawford is averaging 13.2 points and 4.6 rebounds a game, and junior guard Jamarr Sanders is averaging 11.7 points and 4.9 rebounds a game. Junior guard Aaron Johnson is averaging 9.3 points a game and leads the team in assists with an average of 4.5 a game. Senior guard George Drake averages 8.9 points a game.
UAB is averaging 71.3 points a game and allowing an average of 57.5 points a game. Opponents are shooting just 38.5 percent from the field against the Blazers for the season, including just 28.2 percent from three-point range. UAB is out-rebounding its opponents by an average of 7.2 rebounds a game.
Mike Davis is in his fourth season as the Blazers’ head coach. His UAB teams have compiled an overall record of 71-40 and have twice participated in the NIT. Davis was the head coach at Indiana for six seasons prior to becoming the head coach at UAB. His Indiana teams compiled an overall record of 115-79 and participated in the NCAA Tournament four times. The Hoosiers finished as the runner-up for the NCAA Championship in 2002 under Davis’ direction.
UAB won the only previous game between the two teams. The Blazers defeated Virginia 68-66 in the Sweet 16 of the 1982 NCAA Tournament at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center in Birmingham, Ala.
After the game with UAB, Virginia is back in action on Tuesday, Jan. 5, when the Cavaliers host Texas-Pan American. That game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.