Virginia Returns Home To Play Radford On Tuesday
CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team returns to John Paul Jones Arena on Tuesday (Dec. 7) to play Radford University after six consecutive games away from home. UVa has not played at home since defeating USC Upstate 74-54 on Nov. 15.
Single-game tickets for the game with Radford, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., are available for $28 and $13 and can be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com/tickets or by calling the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at 800-542-UVA1 (8821) or 434-924-UVA1 (8821). Tickets may also be purchased on game day at the JPJA box office starting at 5:30 p.m.
The Virginia-Radford game will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network. The game is the first of eight consecutive home games for UVa.
The Cavaliers enter Tuesday’s game with an overall record of 5-3 after opening their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule with a 57-54 victory at Virginia Tech Sunday night (Dec. 5). It was the second consecutive road victory for Virginia and the third win for the Cavaliers in the last four games. UVa had lost four consecutive games at Virginia Tech’s Cassell Coliseum before the victory Sunday night.
After the win over the Hokies, Virginia head coach Tony Bennett was asked about the significance of getting a win in the team’s first ACC game and with it coming on the road.
“With our team I just want them to keep striving for good basketball,” Bennett said. “I always tell them just keep getting better. That’s kind of our battle cry. I think they have improved. They had a good second half against Minnesota. Had a real good first half here. The second half we did enough stuff, but certainly to get the victory is huge. I liked the improvement. Now we’ve got a home stand and we’ve got to continue to improve and make the most of that. I thought we’ve gained some ground over the last six games in some tough settings.”
The victory at Virginia Tech marked the third consecutive year Virginia has won its ACC opener with each of those victories coming on the road.
Senior forward Mike Scott recorded his fourth consecutive double-double in the victory at Virginia Tech with 21 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Scott is the first UVa player with four consecutive double-doubles since Travis Watson during the 2001-02 season. He was named the ACC Player of the Week on Monday (Dec. 6) for his play in Virginia’s victories at Minnesota and Virginia Tech.
Freshman guard Joe Harris scored 10 points for the Cavaliers in the win over the Hokies.
Scott leads Virginia in scoring and rebounding with averages of 17.1 points and 10.1 rebounds a game. He is shooting 51.0 percent (49-96) from the field and 86.4 percent (38-44) from the free throw line.
Harris is averaging 11.5 points a game. He is shooting 54.0 percent (34-63) from the field, including 51.6 percent (16-31) from three-point range, and 88.9 percent (8-9) from the free throw line.
Senior guard Mustapha Farrakhan is the third UVa player averaging in double figures in scoring. Farrakhan is averaging 10.1 points a game.
In the victory at Virginia Tech, Farrakhan scored nine points, had five rebounds, five assists, two steals, two blocked shots and no turnovers in a career-high 36 minutes. His totals for rebounds, assists and blocked shots all tied personal career highs.
Sophomore guard Jontel Evans leads the Cavaliers in assists with 36, an average of 4.5 a game.
Red-shirt junior guard Sammy Zeglinski saw game action for the first time this season against Virginia Tech. Zeglinski missed UVa’s first seven games after an operation on his left knee on Oct. 19. He did not score against the Hokies, but had three assists and no turnovers in 15 minutes of playing time.
Virginia leads the series with Radford 5-0 and all of the games have been played in Charlottesville. UVa edged the Highlanders 68-66 on Nov. 21, 2008, in the last game between the two teams.
Radford is currently 2-5 overall on the season and 0-2 in the Big South Conference. The Highlanders have lost their last five games. Radford is coming off a 59-52 loss to Gardner-Webb at home on Saturday (Dec. 4).
The Highlanders are led by 6-5 sophomore guard Gorkem Sonmez who is averaging 10.9 points a game and is the only Radford player averaging in double figures in scoring. The Highlanders’ leading rebounder is 6-8 junior forward Johnathan Edwards who is averaging 6.6 rebounds a game and is also averaging 8.4 points a game. Among Radford’s other leading scorers are 6-4 sophomore guard Blake Smith (7.7 ppg.), 6-1 sophomore guard Evan Faulkner (7.1 ppg.) and 6-3 freshman guard Jareal Smith (6.9 ppg.).
Brad Greenberg is in his fourth season as the head coach at Radford. His Radford teams have compiled an overall record of 52-49 and made one NCAA Tournament appearance.
After the game with Radford the Cavaliers have a break in the schedule for exams and don’t play again until Dec. 17 when they host Oregon at John Paul Jones Arena. That game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.