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CHARLOTTESVILLE—The Virginia men’s basketball team returns to John Paul Jones Arena on Thursday (Jan. 28) to play Virginia Tech in an Atlantic Coast Conference game that is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

The game will be televised by Comcast SportsNet and broadcast by the Virginia Sports Radio Network.

The 2009 NCAA Champion Virginia men’s soccer team will sign autographs prior to the game from 5:30-6:45 p.m. in the East Upper Concourse of JPJA. A ticket to the men’s basketball game is required to attend the autograph session. The men’s soccer team will also be recognized at halftime of the basketball game.

Virginia will be looking to bounce back from a 69-57 loss at Wake Forest last Saturday (Jan. 23). The loss was the first for the Cavaliers to an ACC opponent this season and ended an eight-game Virginia winning streak. UVa is now 12-5 overall and 3-1 in the ACC.

Virginia Tech enters Wednesday’s game with an overall record of 15-3 and a 2-2 record in the ACC. The Hokies are coming off a 63-62 home victory over Boston College last Saturday (Jan. 23).

Sophomore guard Sylven Landesberg scored 18 points to lead three Virginia players in double figures in the loss at Wake Forest. Landesberg is the only player in the ACC to score in double figures in every game he’s played this season. Junior guards Mustapha Farrakhan and Jeff Jones each added 10 points for the Cavaliers against the Demon Deacons.

UVa trailed 34-15 at halftime after Wake Forest closed the first half on a 16-1 run. Virginia’s 15 first half points were their fewest in the first 20 minutes of a game since scoring 15 points against Connecticut on Nov. 29, 1993.

Virginia shot 33.8 percent (22-65) from the field in the game, including 23.8 percent (5-21) from three-point range, and 50 percent (8-16) from the free throw line. The Cavaliers tied their season high with 12 steals and forced 24 Wake Forest turnovers. Wake Forest out-rebounded Virginia 42-29.

“Not a whole lot to say, I think we got outplayed early and often,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said after the game. “They were really aggressive, they kind of hit us in the mouth with their play on the offensive glass and we had way too many breakdowns defensively. I think that affected us; they had so many easy hoops.

“You’re going to have games where you struggle to shoot the ball, which showed at the free throw line tonight. Usually our defense is good enough to keep us in there until we can get something going offensively, but that wasn’t the case today and then certainly some foul trouble hurt us. You have to credit Wake Forest, they did the job, they were aggressive, they were ready. We made a nice run at the end, there was some effort shown that we didn’t die, but the game got out of hand too soon and it was just a mad dash to get a chance.”

Landesberg continues to lead Virginia in scoring and minutes played. He is averaging 17.5 points and 31.1 minutes played a game, and is shooting 83.0 percent (83-100) from the free-throw line. Landesberg is fourth in the ACC in free throw percentage, fifth in scoring and 10th in minutes played.

Junior forward Mike Scott leads the team in rebounding with an average of 7.2 rebounds a game and he is second in scoring with an average of 12.7 points a game. He is shooting 55.3 percent (78-141) from the field. Scott ranks fourth in the conference in field goal percentage and 13th in rebounding.

Sophomore guard Sammy Zeglinski is the third player averaging in double figures in scoring for Virginia. He is averaging 10.1 points a game and leads the team in assists (47 assists, 2.8 apg.) and steals (22 steals, 1.3 spg.). Zeglinski leads the ACC in three-point field goal percentage at 46.9 percent (38-81) and is third in the conference in three-point field goals made per game with an average of 2.2 a game.

Farrakhan and Jones are both averaging 7.3 points a game. Farrakhan is also averaging 2.0 assists a game, while Jones is shooting 45.3 percent (24-53) from three-point range, including 61.5 percent (8-13) in ACC games.

As a team Virginia is averaging 70.3 points a game and allowing an average of 60.9 points a game. The Cavaliers are shooting 45.3 percent (429-947) from the field, including 40.1 percent (107-267) from three-point range, and 74.9 percent (230-307) from the free-throw line. UVa is averaging 13.8 assists and 10.3 turnovers a game.

Virginia ranks third nationally in fewest turnovers a game. The Cavaliers rank first in the ACC in three-point field goal percentage, second in free throw percentage and assist to turnover ratio, and third in scoring defense.

Junior guard Malcolm Delaney, a third-team All-ACC selection last season, leads Virginia Tech in scoring and assists. Delaney leads the ACC in scoring with an average of 19.5 points a game and ranks seventh in the conference in assists with an average of 4.2 a game (71 assists). He is shooting 83.3 percent (105-126) from the free-throw line and ranks third in the ACC in that department.

Junior guard Dorenzo Hudson averages 12.8 points a game for the Hokies, while junior forward Jeff Allen is averaging 11.2 points and a team-leading 7.8 rebounds a game. Allen ranks eighth in the conference in rebounding.

As a team Virginia Tech is averaging 72.3 points a game and allowing an average of 59.9 points a game. The Hokies are shooting 43.2 percent (457-1057) from the field, including 33.3 percent (92-276) from three-point range, and 68.6 percent (295-430) from the free-throw line. Virginia Tech ranks first in the conference in scoring defense

Virginia leads the series with Virginia Tech 79-50, and the Cavaliers have a 32-10 advantage in games played in Charlottesville. UVa has won two of the three games played at John Paul Jones Arena in the series.

After the game with Virginia Tech, Virginia plays at North Carolina on Sunday (Jan. 31). That game is scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m. and will be televised by Fox Sports Net.

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