Cavaliers Host NC State on Wednesday
CHARLOTTESVILLE—The Virginia men’s basketball team returns to John Paul Jones Arena for the first of two consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference home games on Wednesday (Feb. 3) when the Cavaliers host NC State at 7 p.m.
The game is the second of the season between the two teams. Virginia beat the Wolfpack 70-62 in Raleigh on Jan. 9.
Wednesday’s game will be televised by ESPNU and broadcast by the Virginia Sports Radio Network.
UVa is coming off a 75-60 victory at North Carolina on Sunday (Jan. 31) that stopped a two-game slide for the Cavaliers. The victory was Virginia’s first in Chapel Hill since 2002 and broke a six-game losing streak to the Tar Heels. The margin of victory was the largest for UVa in a win at North Carolina.
Sophomore guard Sylven Landesberg scored a season-high 29 points to lead the Cavaliers against North Carolina. Landesberg also had five rebounds, two assists and two steals. He was 11 for 18 from the field and 7 for 8 from the free-throw line.
Virginia broke the game open by scoring 18 unanswered points to take a 53-32 lead with 14:20 left in the game. North Carolina went almost eight minutes without a field goal and got no closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Sophomore guard Sammy Zeglinski scored a season-high 19 points, a personal ACC career high, and had five three-point field goals. He also had four assists and four steals.
Junior forward Mike Scott added 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Cavaliers against UNC. Senior forward/center Jerome Meyinsse scored seven points, had five rebounds and blocked a career-high three shots.
UVa shot 51.9 percent (27-52) from the field, including 41.2 percent (7-17) from three-point range, and 77.8 percent (14-18) from the free-throw line in the game. The Cavaliers had 18 assists. Virginia limited North Carolina to 35.7 percent (20-56) shooting from the field.
Virginia head coach Tony Bennett talked about the challenge of playing at North Carolina after a difficult loss to Virginia Tech in overtime at home on Jan. 28.
“That was significant because that was a real hard loss to our in-state rival,” Bennett said after the North Carolina game. “We were up by ten with three minutes left and then lost it. That was a challenge to them. A lot of teams would probably hang their heads and go into a situation like this and not fight. I said, ‘I want you to be different’ and I thought they were. Sylven was terrific offensively. He was special. Sammy made some big shots. It helps when you’ve got some guys making plays. That was significant for us to bounce back. I think it revealed a lot. It took away the sting of that game. Our guys were ready to play and I was happy to see it.”
Landesberg, Scott and Zeglinski continue to average in double figures in scoring for Virginia.
Landesberg is averaging 18.2 points a game and also leads the team in minutes played with an average of 31.6 a game. He is averaging 5.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists a game, and is shooting 81.8 percent (90-110) from the free throw line. Through games of Feb. 1, Landesberg is tied for third in the ACC in scoring, is fifth in free throw percentage and is ninth in minutes played.
Landesberg was named the ACC Player of the Week on Feb. 1 for his play in Virginia’s games with Virginia Tech (Jan. 28) and North Carolina (Jan. 31).
Scott is second on the team in scoring with an average of 13.1 points a game and leads the team in rebounding with an average of 7.1 rebounds a game. He is shooting 54.5 percent (90-165) from the field. Scott ranks fourth in the conference in field goal percentage and 13th in rebounding.
Zeglinski is averaging 10.5 points a game and leads the team in assists (55, 2.9 apg.), steals (26, 1.4 spg.) and three-point field goals (45). He leads the ACC in three-point field goal percentage (46.9 percent, 45-96) and is second in three-point field goals made per game (2.4).
Meyinsse is averaging 7.6 points and 4.4 rebounds a game over the last seven games.
Freshman guard Jontel Evans has 38 assists, 18 steals and just 11 turnovers in the last 12 games. He had a season-high six assists against North Carolina.
As a team Virginia is averaging 70.6 points a game and allowing an average of 61.6 points a game. The Cavaliers are shooting 45.5 percent (481-1056) from the field, including 39.6 percent (120-303) from three-point range, and 74.6 percent (259-347) from the free-throw line.
UVa ranks first in the ACC in three-point field goal percentage, second in free throw percentage and assist to turnover ratio, and third in the conference in scoring defense and three-point field goals made (average of 6.3 a game).
NC State enters Wednesday’s game with an overall record of 14-8 and a 2-5 record in the ACC. The Wolfpack leads the series with Virginia 80-55, but the Cavaliers lead 33-23 in games played in Charlottesville. UVa has won both games played between the two teams at John Paul Jones Arena.
Landesberg scored 23 points and had five rebounds in the Cavaliers’ 70-62 victory at NC State on Jan. 9. Scott scored 14 points and had seven rebounds, while Zeglinski added 10 points and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
Junior guard Jeff Jones came off the bench to score eight points (3-3 FG, 2-2 3FG) for Virginia.
UVa trailed the Wolfpack by 10 points (43-33) with 12:35 left to play before rallying for the victory. The Cavaliers made their last 17 free throw attempts and shot a season-high 95 percent (19-20) from the free-throw line. Virginia took the lead for good at 54-53 on a layup by Scott with 3:53 remaining in the game.
The Cavaliers shot 45.5 percent (5-11) from three-point range in the game and out-rebounded the Wolfpack 36-30.
Junior forward Tracy Smith leads the Wolfpack in scoring and rebounding. Smith is averaging 17.7 points and 8.3 rebounds a game. He is shooting 57.1 percent (144-252) from the field. Smith ranks second in the ACC in field goal percentage, fifth in scoring and seventh in rebounding. He led the Wolfpack with 18 points and nine rebounds in the game between the two teams in Raleigh last month.
Senior forward Dennis Horner is averaging 12.2 points and 4.1 rebounds a game for NC State, while junior guard Javier Gonzalez is averaging 10.2 points a game and leads the team in assists with 88 (average of 4.2 a game). Gonzalez ranks sixth in the ACC in assists.
As a team NC State is scoring an average of 71.1 points a game and allowing an average of 65.3 points a game. State is shooting 45.9 percent (558-1215) from the field, including 35.2 percent (134-381) from three-point range, and 68.4 percent (314-459) from the free-throw line.
Sidney Lowe is in his fourth season as NC State’s head coach. His Wolfpack teams have compiled an overall record of 65-54.
After the game with NC State on Wednesday, Virginia returns to John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday (Feb. 6) to play Wake Forest. The Virginia-Wake Forest game is scheduled to begin at noon and will be televised by Raycom.