Virginia Plays LSU At JPJA On Sunday
CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team will look to break a two-game losing skid when the Cavaliers host Louisiana State University Sunday (Jan. 2) at John Paul Jones Arena.
Sunday’s game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and is the sixth of eight consecutive home games for Virginia. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Net and broadcast by the Virginia Sports Radio Network.
Tickets are available for the game (click here for ticket information). Tickets can be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com/tickets and can also be purchased on game day at the JPJA box office starting at 4:00 p.m.
The Cavaliers enter Sunday’s game with an overall record of 8-5, but have lost their last two games after winning five in a row. Virginia has lost at home to Seattle (59-53, Dec. 22) and Iowa State (60-47, Dec. 30) in its last two games.
UVa has struggled offensively in recent games. In the last three games the Cavaliers have shot 32.5 percent (55-169) from the field and 18.2 percent (12-66) from three-point range. Virginia has scored fewer than 60 points in each of those games. It’s the first time the Cavaliers have scored fewer than 60 points in three consecutive games since a four-game stretch under 60 points in February of 1994.
Senior forward Mike Scott, Virginia’s leading scorer (15.9 ppg.) and rebounder (10.2 rpg.), has not played in three of the last four games because of an ankle injury. He did not play in the Cavaliers’ loss to Iowa State on Thursday (Dec. 30). In that game UVa did not have a player score in double figures for the first time since a 78-51 loss at Georgia Tech on Jan. 19, 1991.
Senior forward Will Sherrill returned to action for the Cavaliers against Iowa State. Sherrill had missed five games after fracturing the fibula in his right leg against Minnesota on Nov. 29. He had a career-high nine rebounds against Iowa State and also scored four points.
Freshman guard KT Harrell was UVa’s leading scorer in the loss to Iowa State with nine points. Junior center Assane Sene and freshman forward Will Regan each scored seven points against the Cyclones.
In addition to Scott, senior guard Mustapha Farrakhan is the only other Virginia player averaging in double figures in scoring with an average of 10.9 points a game. Harrell is averaging 9.7 points a game and freshman guard Joe Harris 9.5 points a game.
Sophomore guard Jontel Evans leads the Cavaliers in assists with 43 and is averaging 3.3 assists a game.
Sunday’s game will be just the second between Virginia and LSU. Virginia won the only previous meeting between the two teams 78-74 in the third place game at the 1981 Final Four in Philadelphia, Pa. It was the last third place game played in the NCAA Tournament.
LSU enters Sunday’s game with an overall record of 8-6. The Tigers are coming off a 74-68 loss at Rice on Wednesday (Dec. 29).
Two freshmen guards lead LSU in scoring. Andre Stringer is the Tigers’ leading scorer with an average of 14.4 points a game and Ralston Turner is averaging 13.9 points a game. Stringer also leads LSU in assists with an average of 2.9 a game.
Among the Tigers’ other leading scorers are junior forward Malcolm White (8.6 ppg.), sophomore guard Aaron Dotson (8.1 ppg.) and junior forward Storm Warren (7.5 ppg.). Warren is LSU’s leading rebounder with an average of 6.8 rebounds a game and White is averaging 5.5 rebounds a game.
Trent Johnson is in his third season as the head coach at LSU. Johnson’s LSU teams have compiled an overall record of 46-34. In his first season as the Tigers’ head coach in 2008-09, LSU compiled a record of 27-8, won the Southeastern Conference Championship and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He was the SEC Coach of the Year that season.
Johnson was the head coach at Stanford for four seasons and at Nevada for five seasons before becoming the head coach at LSU. His overall record in 12 seasons as a collegiate head coach is 205-155 and his teams have participated in postseason play seven times, including five NCAA Tournament appearances.
Johnson’s 2006-07 Stanford team defeated Virginia 76-75 at John Paul Jones Arena (Jan. 7, 2007). It was UVa’s first loss at JPJA and the Cavaliers’ only home loss during their first season in the arena.
After Sunday’s game with LSU the Cavaliers are back at JPJA on Tuesday (Jan. 4) for a game with Howard. That game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.