Virginia Concludes Non-Conference Portion of Schedule at LSU
CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team closes the non-conference portion of its 2011-12 schedule on Monday (Jan. 2) when the Cavaliers play at LSU.
Monday’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time and will be broadcast by the Virginia Sports Radio Network. It will be televised by Comcast Sports Southeast and also carried on ESPN3.
Virginia enters the game with an overall record of 12-1 and on a 10-game winning streak. The Cavaliers are coming off a 57-50 victory over Towson at John Paul Jones Arena on Friday (Dec. 30).
UVa is 12-1 for the first time since the 1982-83 season and the 10-game winning streak is the longest for the Cavaliers since the 2000-01 season. In the national rankings of Dec. 26, the Cavaliers are No. 23 in The Associated Press poll and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
LSU enters Monday’s game with an overall record of 10-3 and the Tigers have won their last seven games. LSU defeated Grambling 69-37 in its most recent game on Thursday (Dec. 29).
It will be the UVa men’s basketball team’s first trip to Baton Rouge. The Cavaliers have won their last four true road games dating back to last season. It’s Virginia’s longest road winning streak since winning four consecutive road games during the 1994-95 season.
Senior guard Sammy Zeglinski led the Cavaliers to their victory over Towson with a season-high 20 points and sophomore guard Joe Harris added 17 points and a game-high seven rebounds. UVa shot a season-low 34.8 percent (16-46) from the field in the win.
Senior forward Mike Scott continues to lead Virginia in scoring and rebounding. Scott is averaging 16.3 points and 9.0 rebounds a game. He is also shooting 62.4 percent (73-117) from the field and 79.7 percent (63-79) from the free-throw line. Scott leads Atlantic Coast Conference players in field goal percentage, is fourth in rebounding, fifth in scoring and 10th in free throw percentage.
Harris is also averaging in double figures in scoring for the Cavaliers. He is averaging 12.9 points and 3.8 rebounds a game and is shooting 83.3 percent (40-48) from the free-throw line. Harris ranks tied for sixth in the ACC in free throw percentage and tied for 15th in scoring.
Zeglinski is averaging 9.6 points a game and has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games. He is shooting 41.7 percent (25-60) from three-point range and ranks sixth on Virginia’s career list for three-point field goals with 166. Zeglinski is third among ACC players in three-point field goal percentage and steals (1.7 pg), and he is fourth in three-point field goals made (2.3 pg).
Three other UVa players are averaging between 7.3 and 5.3 points a game, including freshman guard Malcolm Brogdon (7.3), junior guard Jontel Evans (6.2) and senior center Assane Sene (5.3).
Evans ranks seventh in the ACC in assists (3.3 apg.) and sixth in steals (1.6 spg.).
As a team Virginia ranks second in the nation in scoring defense (50.3 ppg.) and 19th in field goal percentage defense (37.8 percent).
In ACC rankings through Dec. 31st, Virginia ranks first in scoring defense, rebounding defense (27.2), defensive rebounding percentage (.768) and turnover margin (+2.2), second in three-point field goal percentage defense (26.7 percent), and third in free throw percentage (73.3 percent, 220-300) and assist/turnover ratio (1.1).
Virginia leads the series with LSU 2-0. The Cavaliers won 64-50 in Charlottesville last season and defeated the Tigers 78-74 in the third place game at the 1981 Final Four in Philadelphia. It was the final third place game played in the NCAA Tournament.
Sophomore guard Andre Stringer leads LSU in scoring average with an average of 12.1 points a game. Stringer has missed the Tigers’ last five games due to injury.
Also averaging in double figures in scoring for the Tigers are junior center Justin Hamilton and sophomore guard Ralston Turner. Hamilton is averaging 11.6 points a game and leads LSU in rebounding with an average of 6.8 rebounds a game. Turner is averaging 10.5 points a game.
Trent Johnson is in his fourth season as LSU’s head coach. The Tigers have compiled an overall record of 59-52 and participated in the NCAA Tournament once under his direction. Johnson has also been the head coach at Nevada (five years) and Stanford (four years). His overall record as a collegiate head coach is 218-163 with five NCAA Tournament appearances.
After the game at LSU, the Cavaliers return to John Paul Jones Arena to open ACC play on Saturday (Jan. 7) against Miami. That game is schedule to begin at 6 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.