Cavaliers Host UNC Wilmington On Monday At 7 P.M.
CHARLOTTESVILLE—The Virginia men’s basketball team has a quick turnaround after its victory over nationally ranked Miami on Saturday (Jan. 16) as the Cavaliers host UNC Wilmington at John Paul Jones Arena on Monday (Jan. 18). The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and is the final non-conference game of the regular season for UVa.
The Virginia Sports Radio Network will broadcast Monday’s Virginia-UNC Wilmington game.
UVa has won its last seven games and is now 11-4 overall and 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cavaliers are the only team in the ACC undefeated in conference play. The team’s 3-0 start in the conference is its best since opening conference play in 1994-95 with a 4-0 record.
Virginia’s seven-game winning streak is the program’s longest since winning seven consecutive games during the 2006-07 season. UVa hasn’t won eight consecutive games since the start of the 2003-04 season.
The Cavaliers are coming off a 75-57 victory over No. 23 Miami at John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday. It was Virginia’s second consecutive win over a nationally ranked opponent. UVa defeated No. 20 Georgia Tech 82-75 on Wednesday (Jan. 13) at JPJA. It’s the first time Virginia has defeated nationally ranked opponents in consecutive games since the 2006-07 season.
Four Cavaliers scored in double figures in the victory over Miami. Sophomore guard Sylven Landesberg led the way with 18 points and junior guard Mustapha Farrakhan came off the bench to score 13 points. Junior forward Mike Scott added 10 points and sophomore guard Sammy Zeglinski scored 10 points, tied for the team lead with seven rebounds, led the team with six assists and had no turnovers.
Freshman guard Jontel Evans made his first collegiate start in the Miami game. In addition to his aggressive defense, Evans scored four points, tied Zeglinski for the team lead in rebounds with seven, had four assists and no turnovers.
Virginia shot 51.8 percent (29-56) from the field as a team, including 42.9 percent (6-14) from three-point range, had 19 assists and turned the ball over just nine times. It’s the sixth time this season the Cavaliers shot 50 percent or better from the field and the 10th time they’ve had 10 or fewer turnovers.
Defensively UVa limited the Hurricanes to just 31.5 percent shooting from the field for the game. Miami shot just 21.7 percent from the field in the first half and made only five field goals (5-23). Virginia led 33-21 at halftime and Miami got no closer than nine points in the second half.
“Momentum is a strong thing and I think they are riding it certainly, but I’d like to talk about that first half defensively,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said after the game. “That is what I was waiting to see in the first half. I thought that offensively we weren’t great, but defensively it was one of our better performances in terms of how active we were stopping them in transition and making them work. That’s what I want to keep seeing.”
Landesberg, who has scored in double figures in every game this season, leads Virginia in scoring with an average of 17.4 points a game. He also leads the team in assists and minutes played. Landesberg is averaging 2.8 assists (42 total assists) and 31.4 minutes played a game. He ranks fifth in the ACC in scoring and 10th in minutes played.
Scott leads Virginia in rebounding with an average of 8.0 rebounds a game and he is second in scoring at 13.3 points a game. He is shooting 57.0 percent (69-121) from the field and ranks second in the conference in that department. Scott ranks ninth in the ACC in rebounding.
Zeglinski is averaging 10.7 points a game, is second on the team in assists with 40 (2.7 a game) and is shooting 48.6 percent (36-74) from three-point range which ranks first in the ACC. He leads UVa with 36 three-point field goals this season. Zeglinski led the Cavaliers with 33 three-point field goals last season.
Junior guard Jeff Jones is averaging 7.5 points a game and Farrakhan 7.4 points a game. Jones is shooting 66.7 percent (14-21) from three-point range in the last eight games.
As a team Virginia ranks first in the ACC in three-point field goal percentage at 41.9 percent, second in free throw percentage at 75.7 percent and second in scoring defense at 59.9 points a game.
Virginia leads the series with UNC Wilmington 2-0. The teams have not played since UVa defeated the Seahawks 87-51 at University Hall during the 1987-88 season.
UNC Wilmington enters Monday’s game with an overall record of 6-11 and a 2-5 record in the Colonial Athletic Association after a 79-56 loss at Northeastern on Saturday (Jan. 16). Among the Seahawks victories are wins over Penn State (80-69) and William & Mary (62-61). UNC Wilmington’s record also includes losses to Miami (67-60), South Florida (74-66) and Wake Forest (80-69).
The Seahawks have two players averaging in double figures in scoring. Junior guard Chad Tomko leads the team with an average of 13.8 points a game and also leads in assists with an average of 4.6 a game. Junior forward John Fields is averaging 12.0 points a game and leads the team in rebounds with an average of 9.4 a game.
Seven other UNC Wilmington players are averaging between 4.4 and 6.5 points a game.
As a team the Seahawks are shooting 42.5 percent from the field, including 33.3 percent from three-point range, and 66.9 percent from the free-throw line while averaging 67.1 points a game.
Benny Moss is in his fourth season as head coach of the Seahawks. His UNC Wilmington teams have compiled an overall record of 40-71.
After the game with UNC Wilmington, Virginia returns to ACC play with a game at Wake Forest on Saturday (Jan. 23). That game is schedule to begin at 4 p.m. and will be televised by Raycom.