Cavaliers Open ACC Schedule At NC State On Saturday
CHARLOTTESVILLE—The Virginia men’s basketball team opens the Atlantic Coast Conference portion of its schedule on Saturday (Jan. 9) when the Cavaliers play NC State in a game that is scheduled to begin at noon at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.
The game will be televised by Raycom and broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network.
UVa enters the game with an overall record of 8-4 and the Cavaliers have won their last four games. NC State is 11-4 overall and 0-1 in the ACC. State has won three of its last four games. The Wolfpack opened conference play with a 67-59 loss at Wake Forest on Dec. 20.
Saturday’s game marks the third consecutive season and the sixth time in the last eight seasons that Virginia has opened conference play on the road. The Cavaliers have won two of their last three ACC openers, including an 88-84 overtime victory at Georgia Tech last season.
UVa is coming off a 72-53 victory over Texas-Pan American on Tuesday (Jan. 5) at John Paul Jones Arena. Junior forward Mike Scott scored 22 points and had seven rebounds, and sophomore guard Sylven Landesberg scored 20 points and had six rebounds to lead the Cavaliers. It is the first time UVa had two players score at least 20 points each in the same game since the 2008-09 season opener against VMI.
Sophomore guard Sammy Zeglinski added 13 points and season-high totals of six assists and four steals against the Broncs. Senior guard Calvin Baker tied his career high with seven assists against Texas Pan-American and scored five points.
Despite the victory, Virginia head coach Tony Bennett was not particularly pleased with the Cavaliers’ performance.
“I thought it was a poor performance,” Bennett said after the Texas-Pan American game. “I didn’t think we came out and played well. Texas-Pan American has scrappy players who play hard. They missed a lot of shots – some point-blank shots that would have made that a lot closer than it was. We did not perform well. We were sloppy. We were not alert. That was disappointing coming off the UAB game. We will get back at it tomorrow and prepare for a different level of competition.”
The Cavaliers shot 56.6 percent (30-53) from the field, including 58.3 percent (7-12) from three-point range, against Texas-Pan American. It marked the fifth time this season Virginia has shot at least 50 percent from the field. Last season UVa shot 50 percent or better four times in 28 games.
Landesberg, who has scored in double figures in all 12 of Virginia’s games this season, leads the Cavaliers in scoring, assists and minutes played. He is averaging 16.5 points, 2.8 assists (34 total assists) and 31.2 minutes played a game.
Scott leads the team in rebounding and is second in scoring. He is averaging 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds a game. Scott is shooting 58.9 percent (53-90) from the field, which ranks third in the ACC.
Zeglinski is UVa’s third double-figure scorer with an average of 10.8 points a game. He is shooting 49.2 percent (30-61) from three-point range and that ranks second in the conference.
Baker has 28 assists and just eight turnovers this season. He has 17 assists and just two turnovers in the last three games.
As a team Virginia is scoring an average of 70.2 points and allowing an average of 58.8 points a game. The Cavaliers are shooting 46.4 percent from the field, including 42.1 percent from three-point range, and 72.7 percent from the free throw line.
A key factor for UVa is that the Cavaliers are averaging only 10.5 turnovers a game. UVa has had 10 or fewer turnovers in seven games this season and has had fewer turnovers than its opponent in six consecutive games.
NC State is coming off an 87-70 home victory over Holy Cross on Wednesday (Jan. 6) and is 6-2 at home this season.
Junior forward Tracy Smith leads the Wolfpack in scoring and rebounding. Smith is averaging 17.6 points and 8.8 rebounds a game. He is shooting 56.0 percent (98-175) from the field.
Senior forward Dennis Horner and junior guard Javier Gonzalez are also averaging double figures in scoring for NC State. Horner is averaging 13.5 points and 5.1 rebounds a game while shooting 52.9 percent (74-140) from the field, including 47.2 percent (17-36) from three-point range. Gonzalez is averaging 11.2 points a game and leads the team in assists with an average of 5.0 a game (70 total assists).
State is averaging 70.1 points a game and allowing an average of 62.1 points a game.
Sidney Lowe is in his fourth season as NC State’s head coach. His Wolfpack teams have compiled an overall record of 62-50.
NC State leads the series with Virginia 80-54. Saturday’s game is the first of two regular-season games between the teams this season. State plays at UVa on Feb. 3.
Virginia returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 13, when the Cavaliers host Georgia Tech at John Paul Jones Arena. That game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.