Landesberg's Jumper Lifts Cavaliers Over UNCW 69-67
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Sylven Landesberg hit a 15-footer with 2.2 seconds left Monday night, lifting Virginia to a 69-67 victory against North Carolina-Wilmington.
Virginia (12-4) won its eighth straight, its longest winning streak since the start of the 2003-04 season, but had to make a late comeback to do it.
Wilmington (6-12) trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half before a 21-4 run gave it a 61-58 lead with 3:58 to play. The visitors were ahead 64-60 with 2:57 left before Virginia rescued itself with a 9-3 run. Landesberg scored three points in the run, including the game-winning shot, and Jerome Meyinsse, Mustapha Farrakhan and Jontel Evans each scored two points.
Landesberg scored 19 points in the game to lead the Cavaliers. He has scored in double figures in every game this season and has scored at least 18 points in each of the last six games.
Meyinsse scored a career-high 14 points and Mike Scott had 12 for Virginia. Sammy Zeglinski added 10 points for the Cavaliers along with team-high totals of eight rebounds and five assists.
Ahmad Grant led the Seahawks with 19 points, 17 coming in the second half when he made all five of his 3-point attempts. Wilmington also got 17 points and eight assists from Chad Tomko.
“We walk a fine line and when we are sharp and focused, we will compete,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said after the game. “When we get away from it, then we become below average. Not to take anything away from Wilmington – they are hard to guard, but we did not do our part.”
UNC Wilmington led 24-14 with 10:45 left in the first half before Virginia went on a 20-0 run to take a 34-24 lead with 39 seconds left until halftime. The Cavaliers held the Seahawks scoreless for 10 minutes and 34 seconds. A 3-pointer by Tomko cut the Virginia lead to 34-27 at halftime.
The Seahwaks shot 59.3 percent (16-27) from the field in the second half, including 54.5 precent (6-11) from 3-point range. For the game UNC Wilmington shot 51.0 percent (26-51) from the field, including 45.8 percent (11-24) from three-point range, and 80 percent (4-5) from the free-throw line.
Virginia shot 42.6 percent (23-54) from the field in the game, including 30 percent (3-10) from 3-point range, and 83.3 percent (20-24) from the free-throw line. The Cavaliers have now made 84.9 percent (73-86) of their free throws in the last four games. Virginia also had a season-high 12 steals while forcing 16 UNC Wilmington turnovers and out-rebounded the Seahawks 32-25.
“We made some good individual plays – the 50-50 balls at the end – Sammy ran one down and certainly Jontel, that was terrific,” Bennett said. “The individual plays like the big basket by Sylven when we ran a set for him and he made a nice move and then to hit the game winner, we executed that. Those went well, but that isn’t the way we are going to have to play to be competitive and successful in this league as far as a team. You are not just going to out-individualize people at our level. We were fortunate. We will learn from it. I am thankful for the win, but we realize that we have stuff we have to clean up and we can’t ever stop.”
Virginia returns to Atlantic Coast Conference action on Saturday (Jan. 23) when the Cavaliers play at Wake Forest in a game scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.