Virginia Defeats Drexel 49-35 in Paradise Jam
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands-Virginia senior forward Mike Scott scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the Cavaliers to a 49-35 victory over Drexel at the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam on Saturday (Nov. 19). UVa limited the Dragons to just 25.9 percent (14-54) shooting from the field in the consolation bracket victory.
The double-double was the 25th of Scott’s career and moves him into a tie for fifth place on Virginia’s career double-doubles list.
The Cavaliers never trailed in the game and the win improves Virginia’s record to 3-1 on the season. Drexel is now 1-2.
The 35 points are the fewest allowed by a Tony Bennett coached Virginia team and the fewest the Cavaliers have allowed since defeating UMBC 57-34 on Dec. 21, 1996.
Sophomore guard Joe Harris added 12 points for the Cavaliers and senior guard Sammy Zeglinski scored eight points.
Sophomore guard Frantz Massenat led Drexel with 12 points and senior forward Samme Givens had a double-double for the Dragons with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
A 16-2 run late in the first half gave Virginia a 28-12 lead with 34 seconds remaining before halftime. Scott and Zeglinski each scored six points for the Cavaliers in that run.
UVa led 28-14 at halftime behind 11 first-half points by Scott.
Virginia scored only three points in just short of the first 14 minutes of the second half, but still led 31-25.
A 7-0 run late in the game gave the Cavaliers a 45-31 lead with 52 seconds to play and 14 points was their final margin of victory. Scott scored five of UVa’s seven points in that run and he combined with Harris to score 17 of Virginia’s 21 points in the second half (10 by Scott and seven by Harris). Harris scored seven consecutive points for UVa in a 2:19 stretch that ended with the Cavaliers’ leading 40-31 with 3:08 to play.
Virginia was 11-12 from the free-throw line in the last 3:08 of the game.
“We talked about it before the game,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said after the game in discussing the Cavaliers’ first half intensity. “We had too many empty possessions offensively against TCU, which meant we either had too many careless turnovers or we rushed. We got sped up. One pass, and we shot contested shots. So we said, ‘Let’s not have empty possessions. Let’s either get a good, clean rhythm shot early, or break them down so we can maybe go inside more, or just wear that defense down a little bit.”
“But [UVa players] were sharp defensively, with our post trap, and making it hard for them to score. And then offensively we were sharp early. Even in the drought we had, the looks were there. But that was a physical game, and Drexel’s a very tough-minded team. It was kind of first to 31, I guess, in that one. But again, the guys hung in there, and I told them before the game: Whoever wants this one the most is going to get this one.”
Virginia shot 35.9 percent (14-39) from the field for the game, including 25.0 percent (3-12) from three-point range, and 85.7 percent (18-21) from the free throw line.
As part of its 25.9 percent field goal percentage for the game, Drexel shot 14.3 percent (3-21) from three-point range. The Dragons made 66.7 percent (4-6) of their free throws.
Drexel out-rebounded Virginia 37-31, but the Dragons turned the ball over 14 times compared to just eight turnovers for the Cavaliers.
Virginia plays its final game in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam on Monday (Nov. 21) at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time against Drake.