Virginia Hosts North Carolina at JPJA on Saturday
CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team returns to John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday (Feb. 25) for an Atlantic Coast Conference game with North Carolina. The game is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. and is sold out.
Virginia has won its last two games and enters the North Carolina game with an overall record of 21-6 and an 8-5 record in the ACC. The Cavaliers defeated Maryland 71-44 on Feb. 18 at JPJA and are coming off a 61-59 victory at Virginia Tech Tuesday night (Feb. 21).
North Carolina is 24-4 on the season and 11-2 in the ACC. The Tar Heels have won their last four games, including a 70-52 victory over UVa in Chapel Hill on Feb. 11, and nine of their last 10. UNC is coming off an 86-74 win at NC State on Tuesday.
North Carolina is ranked seventh in both The Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll this week. Virginia is ranked 25th in The Associated Press poll.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network. It will also be televised by ESPN and carried on ESPN3.
In North Carolina’s victory over Virginia in Chapel Hill earlier this month, senior forward Tyler Zeller scored a game-high 25 points and had nine rebounds to lead the Tar Heels. Sophomore forward Harrison Barnes scored 14 points and had a game-high 11 rebounds for North Carolina and junior forward John Henson scored 10 points and had 10 rebounds.
Senior forward Mike Scott scored 18 points for Virginia and also had six rebounds in the first game with the Tar Heels this season. Junior guard Jontel Evans added 12 points and five assists for the Cavaliers.
North Carolina out-rebounded Virginia 52-32 and had 23 offensive rebounds to eight for UVa in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels had 23-second chance points to nine for the Cavaliers.
In Tuesday’s two-point victory over Virginia Tech, Scott had game-high totals of 20 points and nine rebounds. Evans added 13 points and five assists for UVa and senior guard Sammy Zeglinski had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists.
The Cavaliers got a boost from freshman guard Paul Jesperson who scored a career-high seven points, tied his career high with three rebounds and had a career-high three assists.
The win was Virginia’s sixth true road win of the season, the most for the Cavaliers since UVa won six road games in 1994-95.
Scott’s 20 points enabled him to move into 19th place on Virginia’s career scoring list with 1,431 points. He has scored in double figures in 14 consecutive games, the longest streak of his career.
Evans had his 11th game this season with at least five assists and Zeglinski now has 302 career assists. Zeglinski is the 12th player in Virginia history to record 300 assists.
Scott continues to lead Virginia in scoring and rebounding. He is averaging 17.3 points and 8.2 rebounds a game, while shooting 58.8 percent (177-301) from the field and 81.8 percent (108-132) from the free-throw line. Scott ranks first among ACC players in field goal percentage, third in scoring, sixth in rebounding and eighth in free throw percentage.
Sophomore guard Joe Harris is also averaging in double figures in scoring for the Cavaliers with an average of 11.4 points a game and Zeglinski is averaging 8.3 points a game. Zeglinski ranks tied for fourth among ACC players in steals (39, 1.6 spg. in 25 games).
Evans leads the Cavaliers in assists (102) and steals (42). He ranks fifth among ACC players in assists (3.8 apg.) and sixth in steals (1.6 spg.).
As a team, Virginia ranks first in the ACC in scoring defense (52.1), three-point field goal percentage defense (28.6 percent), rebounding defense (28.3) and defensive rebounding percentage (75.2 percent).
Nationally the Cavaliers rank first in points allowed per possession (0.86) and assists per game by opponents (7.9), second in scoring defense, third in defensive rebounding percentage, fifth in opponents’ assist percentage (41.1 percent), seventh in three-point field goal percentage defense, ninth in opponents’ assist-to-turnover ratio (0.61), and 18th in field goal percentage defense (38.9 percent). Virginia has allowed points on just 43.8 percent of its opponents possessions this season and ranks third nationally in that department.
North Carolina leads the series with Virginia 126-49 and the Tar Heels lead 43-30 in games played in Charlottesville in the series. UNC is the only ACC team that is undefeated at JPJA. The Tar Heels have a 3-0 record in the building.
Sophomore forward Harrison Barnes leads North Carolina in scoring with an average of 18.0 points a game. Senior forward Tyler Zeller and junior forward John Henson are also averaging in double figures in scoring and are the Tar Heels’ top two rebounders. Zeller is averaging 15.6 points and 9.4 rebounds a game, while Henson is averaging 14.0 points and 10.4 rebounds a game.
Sophomore guard Kendall Marshall leads North Carolina in assists with 275 and is averaging 9.8 assists a game.
Roy Williams is in his ninth season as the head coach at North Carolina. His Tar Heel teams have compiled an overall record of 249-66 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. Williams was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
After the game with North Carolina the Cavaliers play their final home game of the 2011-12 regular season on Thursday (March 1) at John Paul Jones Arena against Florida State. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m.