Virginia Returns to ACC Action Against North Carolina on Saturday
CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team returns to Atlantic Coast Conference action on Saturday (Jan. 8) when the Cavaliers host North Carolina at John Paul Jones Arena.
The game is scheduled to begin at noon and is sold out. Saturday’s game will be televised by the ACC Network and broadcast by the Virginia Sports Radio Network.
UVa enters the game with North Carolina with an overall record of 10-5 and a 1-0 record in the ACC. The Cavaliers opened ACC play with a 57-54 win at Virginia Tech on Dec. 5.
Virginia has won its last two games. The Cavaliers defeated LSU 64-50 last Sunday (Jan. 2) and beat Howard University 84-63 on Tuesday (Jan. 4).
UVa used torrid shooting to defeat Howard. Virginia shot 66.7 percent (32-48) from the field, tied for the fifth-highest percentage in school history and the highest in a game since 1985. The Cavaliers’ 16 three-point field goals made in the game tied for the second most in school history. Virginia’s 76.2 percent (16-21) shooting in the first half was its highest percentage in a half since shooting 78.3 percent (18-23) in the second half of a 91-59 win over Georgia Tech on Feb. 7, 1984.
The Cavaliers made 10 consecutive field goal attempts during one stretch of the first half, nine of them from three-point range.
Senior guard Mustapha Farrakhan scored a career-high 31 points to lead Virginia against the Bison. Farrakhan made his first 11 shots from the field, including eight three-pointers. His eight consecutive three-point field goals tied a school record. Farrakhan finished the game 11-12 from the field, including 8-9 from three-point range, and he made one of two free throw attempts. His eight three-point field goals are the most by a UVa player in a game since Curtis Staples had nine vs. Georgia Tech on Feb. 15, 1998.
It was the first 30-point game by a Cavalier since Sylven Landesberg scored 32 points against Boston College on Feb. 4, 2009.
Freshman guard Joe Harris scored 16 points, freshman guard KT Harrell scored 14 points and junior center Assane Sene had a career-high nine points for Virginia. Harris made 5-6 shots from the field and all of his field goal attempts were from three-point range. He also made one of two free throw attempts.
Sene led the Cavaliers with a game-high five rebounds.
Senior forward Mike Scott, Virginia’s leading scorer (15.9 ppg.) and rebounder (10.2 rpg.), did not play against Howard. Scott has missed five of UVa’s last six games with an ankle injury.
Farrakhan (12.3 ppg.) and Harrell (10.3 ppg.) are also averaging in double figures for the Cavaliers. Harris is averaging 9.9 points a game.
Sophomore guard Jontel Evans had a career-high 10 assists against Howard and is averaging 3.9 assists a game this season to lead Virginia in that department. Evans is the first UVa player to have 10 assists in a game since Sean Singletary had 10 against Old Dominion on March 24, 2008.
North Carolina enters Saturday’s game with an overall record of 10-4. The game is the first ACC game of the season for the Tar Heels who have won their last three games and six of their last seven.
North Carolina leads the all-time series with Virginia 124-49. UVa defeated the Tar Heels 75-60 in Chapel Hill, N.C., last season.
The Tar Heels have three players averaging in double figures in scoring led by junior forward Tyler Zeller with an average of 14.6 points a game. Also averaging in double figures for North Carolina are freshman forward Harrison Barnes (11.9 ppg.) and sophomore forward John Henson (10.1 ppg.). Sophomore guard Dexter Strickland is averaging 9.6 points a game.
Henson leads the Tar Heels in rebounding with an average of 8.6 a game and Zeller is averaging 7.8 rebounds a game. Freshman guard Kendall Marshall leads North Carolina in assists with 60 (4.3 apg.) and junior guard Larry Drew II has 56 assists (4.0 apg.).
Roy Williams is in his eighth season as the head coach at North Carolina. His Tar Heel teams have compiled an overall record of 206-58 and won two NCAA Championships. Williams was the head coach at Kansas for 15 seasons before becoming the head coach at North Carolina. His Jayhawk teams compiled an overall record of 418-101.
After the game with North Carolina the Cavaliers return to action on Jan. 15 at Duke. That game is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.
Tickets are available for $13 and $28 for all of the Virginia men’s basketball team’s remaining home games beginning with the Cavaliers’ home game against Georgia Tech on Jan. 22. Tickets may be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com, by phone at (800) 542-8821 or in person at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.