Cavaliers Conclude Non-Conference Home Schedule With Towson On Friday
CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team concludes the non-conference portion of its home regular-season schedule on Friday (Dec. 30) when the Cavaliers host Towson at John Paul Jones Arena. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
UVa takes a nine-game winning streak and a record of 11-1 into the game with Towson. The Tigers enter the game with an overall record of 0-12 and they have an 0-1 record in the Colonial Athletic Association. In this week’s rankings, the Cavaliers are No. 23 in The Associated Press poll and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
Virginia is 11-1 to open a season for the first time since the 2000-01 season. The Cavaliers have not opened a season 12-1 since the 1982-83 season.
Single-game tickets for Virginia’s game with Towson are available and can be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com/tickets. Tickets may also be purchased on game day at the JPJA box office starting at 5:30 p.m.
Family packages are also available for the Towson game. A minimum of four tickets must be purchased at a family package price point and a voucher will be included with each ticket for a hot dog and 22-ounce soda.
Friday’s Virginia-Towson game will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network and carried on ESPN3.
The Cavaliers are working on a couple of streaks as they enter the Towson game. Virginia’s nine-game winning streak is its longest since the 2001-02 season and dating back to last season UVa has won eight consecutive home games, the second longest winning streak for the Cavaliers at JPJA.
Virginia is coming off a 69-42 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore at JPJA on Tuesday (Dec. 27). Senior forward Mike Scott scored 17 points and had six rebounds in just 15 minutes of action against the Hawks. Freshman forward Darion Atkins had career highs of 13 points and seven rebounds for the Cavaliers, and sophomore guard Joe Harris scored 10 points. Sophomore forward Akil Mitchell tied career highs with nine points and nine rebounds in the win over Maryland-Eastern Shore.
The Hawks were the sixth team this season Virginia has held under 50 points and the Cavaliers have now done that 13 times with Tony Bennett as head coach. As of Dec. 28, UVa ranked second in the nation in scoring defense (50.3 ppg.) and 15th nationally in field goal percentage defense (37.3 percent).
Offensively Virginia is shooting 48.3 percent from the field and is ranked 29th nationally in that department as of Dec. 28. The Cavaliers have shot 50 percent or better from the field in six of their last eight games.
In Atlantic Coast Conference rankings through Dec. 28, Virginia ranks first in scoring defense, rebounding defense (27.0) and defensive rebounding percentage (.770), second in free throw percentage (73.7 percent, 202-274), field goal percentage (48.3 percent, 277-573), three-point field goal percentage defense (26.6 percent) and turnover margin (+2.2), and third in field goal percentage defense, rebounding margin (+7.2) and assist/turnover ratio (1.1).
Scott, who was named the ACC Player of the Week each of the last two weeks, leads the Cavaliers in scoring (17.1 ppg.) and rebounding (9.6 rpg.). He is shooting 63.6 percent (70-110) from the field and 80.5 percent (62-77) from the free-throw line. Scott is ranked second among ACC players in field goal percentage, third in rebounding and fourth in scoring.
Harris is averaging 12.6 points and 3.5 rebounds a game for UVa. He is shooting 89.7 percent (35-39) from the free-throw line. Harris ranks third among ACC players in free throw percentage and tied for 15th in scoring.
Senior guard Sammy Zeglinski is averaging 8.6 points a game and is shooting 40.4 percent (21-52) from three-point range. Zeglinski ranks fourth among ACC players in three-point field goal percentage, three-point field goals made (2.1 pg.) and steals (1.7 spg.), and tied for ninth in assists (3.0 apg.).
Three other Virginia players are averaging between 7.2 and 5.5 points a game, including freshman guard Malcolm Brogdon (7.2), junior guard Jontel Evans (6.7) and senior center Assane Sene (5.5).
Evans leads the team in assists with 38 and ranks eighth among ACC players in that department with an average of 3.2 a game. He ranks sixth in the conference in steals after totaling a career-high four steals against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Tuesday.
Virginia leads the series with Towson 4-0 with all of the games having been played in Charlottesville.
Senior forward Robert Nwankwo leads Towson in scoring and rebounding. Nwankwo is averaging 12.3 points and 8.8 rebounds a game.
Sophomore forward Marcus Damas is averaging 12.1 points and 6.1 rebounds a game for the Tigers.
Pat Skerry is in his first season as head coach at Towson.
After the game with Towson the Cavaliers play at LSU on Jan. 2. That game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Eastern time and is the final non-conference regular-season game for Virginia.