cavaliers are super and win the ncaa charlottesville regional

6/2/2024

 

The Virginia Cavaliers (42-15) are enjoying another stellar year.  They entered the NCAA postseason with another 40 wins during the season and the success since February had given them a national seed of 12.  This resulted in a regional host site in Charlottesville, their 11th invitation in 21 years under current coach Brian O’Connor.  

 

The other three teams in the bracket at UVA were 2-seed Mississippi State, 3-seed St. John’s University and the 4-seed Pennsylvania Quakers.  

 

As a national seed and favorite, Virginia would be the hunted as they looked to gain a ninth Super Regional in their program’s history.

 

Virginia was known for their bats. They entered the tournament as an offensive juggernaut.  At nearly 10 runs a game, the Cavs were ranked nationally in top ten in runs per game as well top five in batting average, slugging percentage and home runs.  Having hit six homers in the two ACC tournament games, it seemed very probable home runs were going to fuel this offense.  Yep, except it really didn’t. In the three games of the Charlottesville Regional, only Henry Godbout left the yard, but the team found the pitching which has been one of the nation’s worst in era and walks.

 

The time between the ACC tournament and first game of the regional, was crucial for the pitching staff to iron out the kinks and it showed in the three games won.  The staff used only two pitchers each per reach game.  The pitchers were determined and showed their grit.  The six pitchers gave up just 8 runs in 27 innings and the no starting pitcher failed to reach the sixth inning. The relievers allowed 0 runs in the entire series.  The unbelievable stats also showed that pitching looks to be trending in an upward trajectory just in time to compliment the offense. 

 

CRAZY STAT: 
2.33 ERA for the regional. Wow!

 

The high-powered offense was efficient not overpowering.  The team outscored the opponents 23-8, saving their biggest outburst in the 9-2 clinching game versus Mississippi State.


The three straight wins gave Virginia the opportunity to host when #5 seed - Arkansas was upset in their regional.  The next UVA opponent will be the Kansas State Wildcats who are 33-24-1 on the season.

 

EMSPORTS.ORG

 

4/2/24   

Eight Cavalier Pitchers Combine for Two-Hit Shutout

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.  – No. 15 Virginia (23-6) recorded their second shutout of the season, with a 4-0 win over ODU (15-13) on Tuesday (April 2) at Disharoon Park. Eight Cavalier pitchers limited the Monarchs to two hits, the fewest by a Cavalier opponent this season and fewest since allowing two in the 2023 NCAA Regional opener against Army.

 

The two teams were engaged in a pitcher’s duel through the first six innings until sophomore Luke Hanson broke the stalemate in the bottom of the seventh with a two-out RBI single through the right side that scored Ethan Anderson. UVA tacked on three more insurance runs in the seventh to seal its second win of the season over ODU.

 

Lefthander Owen Coady was credited with the win after taking over on the mound in the top of the seventh. He struck out all six batters he faced in order. The eight Cavalier pitchers combined to strikeout 14 batters, matching a season high.

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

• Virginia left five runners on base in the first four innings, including four in scoring position. Beginning in the fifth, Monarch reliever David Pond then sat down eight-straight Cavaliers before hitting Anderson with a pitch, a play that originally called a ball and challenged by head coach Brian O’Connor. The play was overturned allowing UVA’s first runner since the fourth inning.

• Anderson advanced to second on a wild pitch and Hanson delivered the two-out blow through the left side for the first run of the game.

• Matt Augustin (1 batter), Coady (6 batters) and Aidan Teel (3 batters) sat down the final 10 Monarchs down in order. Augustin stranded two runners in the top of the sixth, one of two occasions that ODU had a runner in scoring position.

• Freshman Henry Ford recorded his first career triple, driving a 1-2 pitch off the wall in right field that scored two runs. Henry Godbout followed it up with a single to left and made it 4-0 UVA.

• Teel needed only nine pitches to retire the side in the ninth.

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES

• The two teams endured a one-hour and 14-minute weather delay after the top of the third inning.

• A total of 14 pitchers were used in the contest, six by ODU and a season-high eight by UVA.

• All four runs scored by UVA were with two outs.

• The Cavaliers take a 35-34-2 lead in the all-time series and blank ODU for second-straight meeting. The two teams are scheduled to play again on April 16 at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Va.

 

UP NEXT

Virginia will continue its ACC slate on Thursday when it begins a three-game series against No. 10 North Carolina. The series opener will be broadcast live on ACC Network. Game two will be on Friday at 6 p.m. and the series concludes on Saturday with a 1 p.m. first pitch.

 

virginia dominates the panthers in wbit debut, 81-59

Kymora Johnson on the move: photo by virginiasports.com

Virginia wins in their first postseason tournament game since 2018.   In the inaugural 2024 Women's Basketball Invitational Tournament, the Lady Cavs got out early and never looked back as they whipped the visiting High Point Panthers in Round 1. Five of the Hoos scored in double figures to offset the game high 21 points from High Point's Bukky Akinsola, the only double digit scorer for the visitiors.

 

This Lady Cavaliers's team had only experienced postseason ball in the ACC Tournament.  This program had waited long enough and was ready for the assignment.  Paris Clark scored 14 and swiped six steals (career high).  Camryn Taylor and Alexia Smith scored 13, Sam Brunelle added 11 and Kymora Johnson contributed 10 points and a game high six assists.  

 

The Cavaliers dominated the glass with 44 rebounds versus the 36 from the Panthers.  Edessa Noyan led all players with 10 rebounds off the bench.  The teams were nearly identical in shooting from the field as both shot over 40% from the floor and under 30% from behind the 3pt arc.  

 

The Cavaliers scored no less than 16 points in any corner with a high of 26 to the Panthers 18.  The dominating win was a sign that this team has continued to improve as the year goes on and they are playing some of their best basketball as the postseason moves forward.

 

The victory advances the Cavs to the second round where they face #1 seed, Villanova Wildcats, on Sunday, March 24th in Philadelphia.  

 

EMSPORTS 3/22/2024

 

virginia falls short in acc tournament, bows out in play-in round of ncaa tournament


VIRGINIA SURVIVES IN OT TO ESCAPE BOSTON COLLEGE, 66-60

 

If it is pretty basketball you want, Virginia’s games may not be in a beauty contest.  If you want to live on the edge of you seat, then the Cavaliers are just what you need.

 

In March Madness, very few teams epitomize the phrase, “Survive and Advance” better than UVA.  This was on display again in the ACC Quarterfinal against the Boston College Eagles. These teams had slugged it out just two weeks ago but this game would have more meaning.  A win assured Virginia would’ve be dancing on Selection Sunday while a loss make whispers of missing the NCAA tournament, a full blown conversation with no ending.

 

Boston College, the 11-seed, fresh off an upset of the 5th-seeded Clemson Tigers and playing their third game in as many days.  They wanted another shot at Virginia and looked to keep playing the role of Cinderella as long as the proverbial slipper fit.

 

The Eagles started fast with an 14-4 run quickly after the tip.  Claudell Harris Jr. was en fuego knocking down 3 three-pointers and lighting up the Cavaliers.  His shooting along with the dominance of Quinten Post made the Hoos struggle all first half.  The Eagles led by 10 points and seemed to smell an upset as the Cavaliers looked out of rhythm and slow to react.

The Cavs slowly pulled close but could never grab a lead in the first half.  BC kept Virginia on their backs with spurts of offense to offset any Virginia charge.  Virginia did get some momentum late and closed the deficit to 35-29 at halftime. Jacob Groves paced the Cavs with eight points. Quinton Post and Harris Jr. led all scorers with nine apiece.

 

The second half saw a more determined and focused Cavaliers who knew that the Eagles were playing with a nothing to lose attitude.

 

The Hoos played with a bigger sense of urgency and they slowly tracked the Eagles down until they grabbed the lead. The hot shooting of Groves and timely buckets from Taine Murray and Dante’ Harris gave Virginia a brief lead.  With every action, there is an equal reaction.  Boston College would not go away but the Virginia turned up the defense.  BC scored just four points in the last 7+ minutes of the second half but the last bucket was crucial.  As Virginia led 57-55 with under five seconds, BC had ine more chance.  They capitalized as Mason Madson hit a buzzer beater to tie the game at 57.  

 

In overtime, the Cavaliers found just enough offense and even more defense.  Issac McKneely made a huge three give UVa a 60-57 lead.  After a dry spell from both teams, Beekman made shot-clock expiring back-breaking three (63-57) that gave Virginia breathing room and broke the Eagles’ spirit.

 

Jacob Groves led the Hoos with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Reece Beekman also collected a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Taine Murray was the third Hoo in double figures with 11 points.

 

Boston College was led by Post who had a great game with 23 points and 13 rebounds.  Both game highs and he was supported by Harris Jr. who had 14, knocking down four 3pts. 

Virginia (23-9) advances into the semifinals to face 10th seeded, NC State while BC (19-15) will await to see if they will play more postseason basketball.  

 

EMSPORTS.org 3/14/24

 

 

NC State wins a thriller, beats UVa in OT, 73-65

In another tough game, Virginia and NC State locked up for a thriller with a chance to get to the ACC title game.  This game was like hand to hand combat and both teams were full of grit and feistiness. The score at halftime as tied 29-29 as neither team could get away from the other. 

 

Reece Beekman and Issac McKneely scored 18 of the 29 while NCSt was led by Ben Middlebrooks who made all four of his field goals and two free throws to score 10 points. 

In the second half, a battle of wills was on display, as one team pulled ahead, the opposing teams would take back the lead.  This see-saw affair saw both teams with small leads and then many ties.  Virginia looked to pull away with a six point lead at 58-52 until the unthinkable happened.  Ryan Dunn fouled former Hoo, Casey Morsell, on a three-point attempt.  Morsell calmly sanked all three free throws and that gave the Wolfpack hope.  After another miss, the boogeyman appeared at the worst time for Virginia.

 

The missed free throws that plagued UVA showed up as Issac McKneely (23 points) missed front end of one-and-one.  The rebound was grabbed by NC State.  With under five seconds, Mike O’Connell hit an impossible bank theee-pointer while being contested.  The shot rolled around the rim and fell through the net as time expired.  The improbable shot forced overtime at 58-58, but more importantly capped an incredible finish.

 

In overtime, the teams were even until the inside power of DJ Burns took over.  Burns was a one man wrecking crew, as he absorbed contact and delivered buckets to the tune of seven of State’s 15 points.  His power and deft touch were too much for Virginia to overcome and elevated the Wolfpack (21-14) into the ACC title tilt with Tobacco Road brethren UNC.

 

Burns led his team with 19 points, O’Connell and Middlebrooks both finished with 12 each.

The loss drops Virginia to 23-10 on the year and a nervous wait for their postseason life when Selection Sunday comes around.

 

The Hoos got a game high 23 from McKneely.  Reece Beekman recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists and Dunn added 10 points.  

 

EMSPORTS.org 3/15/24

 

Virginia nearly saw their bubble burst in the ACC tournament.  They survived that scare only to see the their NCAA tournament dreams dashed in a horrible way.  The team who made the NCAA Tournament as one of the last teams, didn’t stay long and was one of the first to go. 

The Cavaliers were defeated in humbling fashion by the Colorado State Rams, 67-42, in a first round game in Dayton.

 

Both teams entered as a 10th seed looking to make some noise with the victor advancing on in the Midwest Region.  The next opponent, Texas, awaited them in Charlotte, in Round 2 of the tournament.

 

Virginia took a short lead at 4-2, but would never lead after that point for the remainder of the game.  The terrible scoring drought was back as the Hoos went without a field goal for nearly 14 minutes, spanning the last nine minutes of the first half into the second half for another five minutes.

 

The Cavaliers were solid on defense yet the Rams were able to squeeze a few buckets to extend the lead and used a 9-0 run to take a 27-14 lead into the half.

 

The second half was merely watching the inevitable take place as the Cavaliers stayed cold. The 42 points scored was an unfortunate reminder of the anemic offense and lack of firepower the team had displayed in five of their last 9 games (less than 50 points a game).

 

The loss extends the tourney losing streak to three games and there have been no wins since the Hoos win it all in 2019.  The Rams improve to 25-10 and look forward to a date versus the 7th-seeded Texas Longhorns in the Midwest Region.

 

Colorado St shot over 55% and dominated the glass with 43 rebounds to Virginia’s 23. The Cavaliers were 25% from the field and responsible for only four turnovers compared to 13 for the Rams.

 

Reece Beekman ended his season scoring 15 points and dishing out four assists. 

Joel Scott had 23 points, 11 rebounds to lead three Rams in double digits.  Nique Clifford recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds while Patrick Cartier added 12.

 

EMSPORTS 3/19/24

              


                   COLORADO ST.                   VIRGINIA 

 FG%               55.30%                               25.00%  
 3-Pt FG%        35.71%                               17.65%
 FT%                71.40%                                64.70%
 TREB                 43                                        24
 TO                      13                                         4

EMSPORTS 3/20/24

virginia wins comfortably on senior day, hot shooting dooms the yellow jackets, 72-57

Virginia leads GT in first half, photo by EMSPORTS

The Cavaliers entered the final weekend of the season looking to gain momentum with the postseason just days away.  Virginia had secured a top 4 spot in the ACC and thus a coveted double bye in the ACC tournament.  

The bye was the only guarantee for the recent streak of games had not been kind to the Cavaliers.  A 2-4 record in last six games including scoring less than 50 points in Maurice contests.  The recent struggles gave some pause to the NCAA invitation however there is nothing better than a home game on Senior Day.  

 

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets entered the game with some recent success and were looking to avenge an earlier loss in the season the Virginia.  Having won four of their last six games, the Yellow Jackets scored a bigger victory in their last game.  The game was a track meet in Winston-Salem against Wake Forest.  In that game, GT ended the Demon Deacons’ unblemished home winning streak and possibly ruined their NCAA hopes.

 

On this special night at JPJ, the starting lineup included three seniors Reece Beekman, Jordan Minor and Jacob Groves. Each looked to play an integral in closing out their careers in JPJ in successful fashion.

 

The game started well as Reece Beekman splash a 3-pointer to start the scoring.  GT responded and the game was a back-and-forth affair as Virginia made a few 3pt shots while Georgia Tech was more successful inside the 3pt arc.  The game was tied at 15 with just under nine minutes left.  It was from that point on that Virginia flexed their muscle and embarked on a Cavalanche, outscoring the Yellow Jackets, 23-9, to end the half. 

 

The strength of the Cavaliers’ offense was the three-point shooting.  The Hoos made 7 triples whereas GT only made one 3pt field goal. The 50% shooting from deep was enough to give Virginia a 38-24 advantage at halftime.  Beekman led the way for the home team with 13 points while Baye Ndongo scored 10 to lead the Yellow Jackets.  

 

The Cavaliers continued to pour in shots from the field at over a 50% clip in the second half. The three-pointers were still falling in a high rate.  As the Cavaliers pushed the lead to over 20 points, the Yellow Jackets failed to make up any ground.  The Virginia offense was extremely effective.  They shot a scorching 52% from the field and over 46% (12-26) from the 3pt line.  

 

The defense was also strong for the Cavaliers as they limited the visitors from Atlanta to 40% shooting, less than 20% from 3pt range (4-21) and 12 turnovers leading to 19 points for UVA. Virginia was only guilty of five turnovers for the game. 

 

A bigger result of the Packline defense was how Virginia took away Miles Kelly.  The Yellow Jackets’ leading scorer, Kelly averaged about 15 points a game.  He simply disappeared in Charlottesville.  Kelly was held scoreless and attempted just four shots.  In his place, Ndongo was the only threat for GT.  He finished with 21 points and nine rebounds, both game highs.

The Cavaliers were led by Beekman who scored 21 points and was nearly flawless on his special night.  He also had a game high nine assists and six rebounds to tie team honors.  He was joined in double digits by Issac McKneely who had 16 and Taine Murray with 12 off the bench.  Groves finished with nine points (3 -3pts made and team tying 6 rebounds) and Minor gave the team interior presence

 

The win locked up the #3 seed for Virginia (22-9) in the ACC tournament and Georgia Tech (14-17) falls to the 13th seed in the tourney and plays the opening game of the tournament. 

 

EMSPORTS.org 3/9/24

virginia upsets #5 hokies, 80-75, on a sold out senior day in jpj

Virginia battles Virginia Tech in Commonwealth Clash

The Commonwealth Clash renews on Senior Day at JPJ.  This game features the second matchup of the year between the commonwealth’s ACC combatants, the Virginia Cavaliers and the #5 Virginia Tech Hokies. 

 

The Lady Hoos are looking to protect their home court and exact some revenge on the Lady Hokies.  The Hokies have claimed the ACC regular title and would love to sweep their rivals again.  The win would also erase the Virginia Tech loss at ND in their most recent game.

 

The Cavaliers are looking to improve on their ACC standing and also move over .500 overall  into the ACC tournament.  

 

When at full strength, Virginia can be a struggle for anyone in the ACC.  The freshman phenom, PG Kymora Johnson, is a star in the making who leads in scoring and assists (15+ pts, 5+ assists) while Camryn Taylor is a walking double-double with her ability to score and rebound (14.7 pts, 6.2 boards). The Hokies look to offset the Cavs with their own dynamic duo in Elizabeth Kiley and Georgia Amoore.  This tandem led the squad to the 2023 Final Four and are on pace to get back there as reigning 2X ACC player of the year, Kitley, averages 23 points a game and over 11 boards.  Amoore also scores at a clip of 18 points per contest while dishing out over 7.5 assists to lead the league.  

 

In order to win big games, big players have to make big plays. In front of a record crowd for a women’s game in the state of Virginia, the 11,975 fans were treated to a show.  

The formula for both teams in the first half.  The Hoos led 34-29 on the strength of 14 points off turnovers and high volume offense.  Liz Kitley and Georgia Amoore did the heavy lifting for the visiting Hokies.  They combined for 24 of the 29 points with Kitley leading at 14 points and nine rebounds.

 

The Hoos were up to the challenge leading with energy and forcing turnovers.  The intensity helped them score 34 points and limited the miscues to three.  The pints leader was Paris Clark and Kymora Johnson with eight apiece.  The second half was a track meet and the offenses took over.  The lead was still Virginia’s but that soon went away in a Kitley baskets. However, Kitley was hurt and she did not return.  From that point, the teams went back and forth with each team making shots and big play after big play.  

 

The catalyst was Georgia Amoore for the Hokies.  She was sensational and willed her team to within a possession with pinpoint three-point shooting.  The Cavaliers held a lead and finished the game in the last few minutes with clutch free throw shooting.  

 

The Cavaliers and Hokies played a game that will be remembered for years to come.  The teams showed great shotmaking, high basketball IQ and the ability to overcome tremendous pressure.  

When the final horn sounded, the Cavaliers on Senior Day had done unthinkable and beat their bitter rivals.  The win was their first over a top 10 team since 2017 and in addition to winning a fourth game, over a ranked opponent on the year.

 

Georgia Amoore was everything an All ACC guard should look like.  Her final stats were eye-popping. She scored a record number of points by a VT player in ACC play with 39 points.  She made 8 of 15 from 3pt area and 13-26 overall from the floor.  It was a career high for Amoore.

Kitley was also effective and finished with 20 points and nine rebounds prior to the injury.  

The victorious Cavs placed three in double figures with Johnson at 21, Taylor at 17 and Paris Clark adding 16 on the game. 

 

Both teams were solid form the floor shooting at well over 42% clip.  The Hokies made 10 3pt baskets compared to six for Virginia.  The turnovers were a real detriment to VT, has they had over twice as many as Virginia (17 v 8).

 

The win raises the Cavs to 15-14 as they enter the ACC tourney as the 11th seed.  The Hokies, now will enjoy a double bye as they sit in the top spot for the tournament. 

 

EMSPORTS.org 3/3/2024

 

north carolina breaks the drought, beats uva 54-44 in jpj

The Cavaliers (20-7) have found themselves struggling on offense and have hit a rut lately.  The Hoos can see the end of the regular season but are in need of a boost, as they have averaged only 51 points in their last three games (1-2).

 

The ACC leading North Carolina Tar Heels (20–6) enter JPJ with a high powered offense, averaging over 80 points a game.  The conference leaders only face Virginia once this year, meaning the outcome will impact standings and NCAA tourney seeding.

 

The Cavaliers can take some comfort in knowing that the start Heels have lost eight consecutive contests in JPJ Arena (spanning 12 years) and the defense will need to be at its best to slow down the 10th ranked team in the country.  

 

Each of these teams know that records can be tossed aside for this battle.  The contest will be a test of mental fortitude and contrast in styles.  

 

The game strayed well as Reece Beekman gave Virginia a quick 2-0 lead.  However, UNC found a groove and connected on four of next six shots to take a 9-2 lead before Beekman gave the crowd life with another bucket.  Then the well went dry for both teams.  

 

Each team struggled to get shots to fall but not for lack of looks or opportunities close to the hoop.  However, Carolina was able to stretch the lead due to the outstanding shooting of Cormac Ryan.  The shooting guard, in the absence of Armando Bacot, picked up the slack.  He was responsible for all five three-pointers made in the half and it provided the Tar Heels with an 18-8 lead with over five minutes to go before halftime.

 

As Virginia creeped back into the game at 21-14 with some timely free throws, the Tar Heels responded as Ryan hit his fifth three of the half and Harrison Ingram converted a bucket, to drive the lead to 26-14.  There was very little going well for the Hoos.  They shot a paltry 17% from the floor and no made three pointers in the half.  UNC was able to about nearly 37% from the floor and 42% from 3pt land.  The Tar Heels controlled the boards with 21 rebounds to Virginia’s 16.  They also led in fast break points at 7 to 2 even though Virginia only committed two turnovers while UNC had 6.

 

Reece Beekman scored eight of the team’s 16 points while Ryan led all scorers with 15 points, nearly half of Carolina’s 26 at halftime. 

 

The Hoos started the half with some momentum as Jordan Minor scored down low while Andrew Rohde splashed home a 3pt to draw Virginia to 31-25.  However, the Tar Heels always had an answer and subsequently responded with a 9-2 run to take a 40-27 lead at the under 12:00 minute mark.

 

Virginia continued to claw back into the game and with under five minutes to go, the Cavaliers had closed the gap to 45-37.

 

The effort and energy was superseded by the poor shooting from Virginia and Carolina making enough free throws did to keep the Cavs at distance to eventually pull away with a 54-44 win. 

The win gives UNC a 21-6 record and keeps them on top of the ACC.  The Hoos fall to 20-8 and head to Boston College on Wednesday. 

 

Ryan led all scorers with 18 points, on strength of six 3-pointers.  He was joined by RJ Davis with 12 and Bacot with 10 points and 13 rebounds (game high).  Jordan Minor was the spark for UVA scoring 12 and grabbing 10 boards.  Beekman stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

 

EMSPORTS.org 02/24/2024

virginia outlasts wake forest, 49-47, to start a new winning streak

The game of basketball can be described in any ways.  Painful, exciting, thrilling, boring or a combination of all the above.

 

In the case of visiting Wake Forest at Virginia, this was a game of who could make a shot or at least a free throw. Wake Forest scores the most points a game in the ACC at nearly 80 points.  The Cavaliers are the stingiest allowing less than 62 points a contest.  This is a test of wills and styles when they face one another.  

 

In the first half, both teams were nearly perfect from the floor after the jump ball.  Virginia hit their first five shots and Wake responded making three out of their first five attempts.  Then the basket seemed to close up as there were long droughts of missed shots, unexplained turnovers and ragged play.  The defenses were certainly the aggressors.  Wake led 22-21, scoring six of the final 10 points.  Efton Reid for the Demon Deacons, led all scorers with eight as well as the best rebounder with seven.  The Cavaliers had three share scoring honors with six each by Ryan Dunn, Issac McKneely and Reece Beekman. 

 

The second half saw a more inspired game by the Hoos.  As they turned up the heat on defense, it rubbed off just enough on the offense as well. The Hoos outscored the Deacs, 28-25, after halftime led by Beekman’s 14 second half outburst. 

 

For all the good of the defense, Virginia started 0-10 from the free throw line, yes a shutout from the charity stripe until they made their last one of the game.   Wake Forest was perfect 4-4 until they missed their last one.  Needless to say, it was not pretty.

 

The difference was the level and impressive defense that is the bedrock of Virginia Basketball under Tony Bennett.  The Cavaliers finished with 12 blocks and forced 12 turnovers.  The Demon Deacons were only able to shoot 35% from the field and barely 24% from behind the three-point line.  Virginia (20-6) was just slightly better but good enough at 41% and 31% respectively.

 

Reece Beekman was the catalyst and the best player on the court.  He stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points (game high), six rebounds and four assists. Issac McKneely added 12.

The Demon Deacons (16-9) spread the scoring as Hunter Sallie scored 12 and Efton Reid contributed 10 points.

 

The win was not picture perfect but it is a huge win for the Hoos as they begin a new home court winning streak and pad their resume for the NCAA tournament in a month.  This win splits the regular season between the two and builds momentum for the Cavs’ quick turnaround as they play Monday at the hostile confines of Cassell Coliseum when they visit Virginia Tech. 

 

WF must regroup and prepare for a visit from the red hot Pittsburgh Panthers, who have tied them in the ACC standings. 

 

EMSPORTS.org  2/17/2024 

Pitt snaps Virginia’s home dominance, wins 74-63 on the road

Virginia will look to continue their eight-game winning streak (all ACC victories) as they host the Pittsburgh Panthers.  This game also marks another chance for the Cavaliers to extend the 23 consecutive wins at John Paul Jones Arena.

 

The Panthers are eager to make a modest addition to their three-game winning streak while pull an upset against one of the top teams in the conference.  This game could also bolster Pittsburgh’s NCAA tourney hopes while helping them to move to over .500 in the ACC standings.

 

The teams started well and offense was on display all night.  The Panthers were the aggressor and took the lead early. The Hoos responded and made their home crowd happy taking a lead one point lead at 31-30 with 20 seconds da left in the half.  The Cavaliers battled from down seven and looked to grab momentum into the half.

 

However, the Panthers were the big cats and a modest 5-0 run gave them a 35-31 lead.

 

The halftime adjustments would be important and the team who could make the most stops, would prevail.  The teams shot well but the difference was the Panthers’ 3t efficiency.

 

In the second half, Pitt continued to lead until Virginia took the lead around four minutes into the second half.  From that point, the teams traded baskets and the lead flipped back and forth. While neither team could pull away, the offense continued to sparkle as the game progressed.

 

Eventually, Pittsburgh took advantage of their hot long-distance shooting and it was too much for the Cavaliers to overcome.

 

14-32 was the biggest stat of the night.  This 3s came from everywhere for the visitors and Blake Hinson was the main sharpshooter.  He splashed down 5 three-pointers in the night and was the game high scorer with 27 points.  Teammates Ishmael Legget and Jaland Lowe also hit double figures with 13 and 12, respectively.

 

The Cavaliers were equally as effective, but their two-pointers were not enough as the threes.  The Cavaliers shot 50% from the floor for the game but only made 4 3-pointers and it pales in comparison to the Panthers.  Reece Beekman led the Cavs with 19 points and Issac McKneely chipped in 15.


The win gives Pitt their fourth in a row and snapped the nation’s longest home winning streak at 23.  This was also the first time Pittsburgh had won on the Cavaliers' home court since 1974.  Virginia suffered their first ACC home loss in nearly two seasons following the defeat.


Virginia (19-6) will look to start another streak when they host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Saturday as they look to avenge an early-season loss.  Pittsburgh (16-8) looks to keep the wins coming as they return home to face the Louisville Cardinals. 

 

EMSPORTS.org 2/13/2024

virginia ignores the hurricanes' storm warning, win in dominant fashion, 60-38

The Cavaliers (17-5) have found a strong combination during the recent six game winning streak.  The emergence of Jordan Minor as a legitimate inside  presence, scoring and rebounding, makes the Cavaliers (8-3 in ACC) a more complete team.  Dante Harris has brought speed and change of pace to the guard spot allowing McKneely to be the shooting threat as advertised and allows Reece Beekman to take timely rest breaks.

 

The duo also gives the Hoos some depth on the bench and takes away heavy minutes from the starters. This is vital as Virginia hosts the Miami Hurricanes (15-7, ACC 6-5). The game will be a quick turnaround for Virginia who survived to win a heart-thumping victory at Clemson, 66-65, on Saturday.  Less than two days later, another physical team looks to end the Cavaliers’ 22 game home winning streak, the nation’s best.

 

The Hurricanes pulled off a much needed win at home against the Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday as well. They will challenge the Hoos at every level. This team is averaging nealy 81 points per game but they struggle on the defensive end.

 

The keys to the game will be rebounding and second chance opportunities.  As a road team, more chances to score will build confidence and break the will of the defense driven Cavs.  On the flip side, if Virginia limits Miami to one shot a possession, they will control tempo and frustrate the Hurricanes into some desperate moments as the game goes on. 

 

Miami was able to get off to a better start than Virginia who seem to have some jet lag from the beginning.  The Cavs missed their first five shots, one of the first nine and it allowed Miami jump out to a 7-2 lead in the first five minutes. After that episode of basketball, Virginia made some substitutions and the offense picked up in earnest.

 

Virginia embarked on a 12-0 run in the next six minutes spearheaded by the hot shooting of Jacob Groves.  Groves scored seven points in that stretch.  Miami stopped the run with a Bentley Joseph jumper to cut the lead to 14-9.

 

The Cavaliers led 29-17 at the half thanks to a 15-8 run that was punctuated by the stingy defense of the Packline.  The Hoos held the Hurricanes to a measly 28% shooting for the field with knelt 2 of 10 from behind the three-point stripe. In contrast, Virginia generated a shooting percentage of 48 from the floor and an efficient 75% beyond the 3pt arc. 

 

Omier led the Hurricanes with seven points and eight rebounds.  Virginia spread the scoring as Beekman had eight while Issac McKneely tied Groves with seven.

 

The second half was not any better for the Hurricanes and Virginia turned back any hope early in the half.  Virginia continued to enforce their will and Miami was never comfortable and settled.  

The evidence of the dominance can be seen in the turnovers and the shooting.   Miami only made 14 field goals for the game which produced  29% shooting and 10% from the theee-point space (2-20).

 

The Cavaliers were steady and consistent.  The shooting was a product of great passing and smart decisions.  The Hoos converted their 20 assists into 26 made field goals.  That included a strong 5 for 11 from beyond the three-point line.  

 

The other side of this performance was the play of the defense.  The Cavaliers forced 11 turnovers (committing only 3) and double the Hurricanes in blocks at 8 versus 4.  

 

The balance from Virginia on offense and defense overwhelmed the Hurricanes.  Miami was only able to have one double digit scorer, Omier had 11 points and 13 rebounds.  The next closest scorer was Wooga Poplar with eights. 


Virginia had nine of their eleven players score at least two points. 

 

Beekman led every player with 16 points and Jacob Groves brought 12 points from the bench.  

The win extends Virginia’s win streak to seven games and extends the nation’s longest home streak to 23.  The Hurricanes now 15-8 (6-6 in conference) have dropped to 7th in the ACC while Virginia, 18-5 (9-3 ACC), moves into second place by themselves.

 

EMSPORTS.org 2/5/2024

virginia continues the winning, streak is 5 after win over notre dame, 65-53

The Virginia Cavaliers entered the end of January playing some of their best basketball.  The team was returning from a victory over Louisville and wanted to extend the winning streak to five.

The challenge awaiting was the visiting team from South Bend, Indiana.  The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were struggling in the ACC.  The team was 2-7 in conference play however one ofthe wins was a crushing of the Hoos a few weeks earlier. 

A win for Virginia would solidify a third place position behind UNC and Duke.  Notre Dame was in search of a win just to turn the tide and build momentum for the second half of conference play. 

These two teams were going in opposite directions but all ACC games are tough.  Virginia was able to slowly break away with a 20-8 run in the last eight minutes of the half.  Virginia and Notre Dame were not shy from behind the three-point line.  Both teams took plenty and made 50% or more.  The Irish made five of ten shots which was great.  Virginia was even more efficient and the nine makes in 15 attempts catapulted the home team to a strong 38-23 halftime lead.

 

The shooters were just as effective from other spots on the court.  The Cavaliers shot 52% overall while ND was a solid 42%. The struggles for the Irish was the ability to possess the ball.  The nine turnovers provided Virginia with ample possessions.  Virginia was only guilty of three turnovers and the good shooting made for just six fouls between both teams.

 

The scoring was led by the sizzling stroke of Jacob Groves, who came off the bench to score 15 points, all from 3pt shots. The Irish also had bench firepower as Braeden Shrewsberry made two triples to lead with six points.


The Cavaliers needed to keep up the pressure up and not allow ND to erase the lead in the second half, as the NC State Wolfpack had done in the last home game.

 

Virginia was methodical and the offense kept the hot shooting Irish at bay.  The Irish came out focused and whittled the lead from 15 to eight with a little over ten minutes remaining.  When it looked as if the Irish were ready to make a final push, Reece Beekman took over.  The All-ACC guard scored seven of the last eight points cementing the win for the Hoos. He filled the stat sheet with game high 21 points to go with six rebounds and four steals. Groves (18 points) was just as effective on the strength of his 6 3pt field goals in eight attempts. 

 

Issac McKneely (11points) was his normal sharp shooting self making three of five from downtown. As a team, the Cavaliers shot a season best 13/25 from behind the arc.  The victory extends the nation's longest home winning streak to 22 games.

 

Notre Dame outscored the Cavs, 30-27, in the second half but it was not enough. The Irish were good for 50% from long distance (9/18) and shot over 46% for the game.  They outrebounded the Cavaliers 28 to 25 but it was the 18 turnovers that led to their demise.  The Cavaliers converted those turnovers into 20 points.

 

The leaders were freshman Markus Burton with 17 points and Shrewsberry with 16. 

The win gives Virginia a 16-5 record but more importantly a 7-3 ACC mark.  The Irish fall to 7-14 overall with a 2-8 record in conference. 

 

EMSPORTS.org 1/31/2024

Virginia secures important victory at home, defeats NC State, 59-53 in overtime

The Virginia Cavaliers will face a regular foe with some wounds that have yet to heal.  The visiting North Carolina State Wolfpack are looking to sweep the season series after manhandling the Cavaliers in Raleigh just a few weeks ago. A few things have changed and some faces have too. 

 

The Cavaliers have seen an increased presence both inside and outside on this team.  The duo of Dante Harris and Jordan Minor have sparked the team in this modest two game winning streak.  Minor has provided a physical presence around the glass and the rim while Harris brings speed and defensive intensity on the perimeter.The Wolfpack are coming off a surprise loss at home to the Virginia Tech Hokies. 

 

They will be poised and focused in this game knowing they have defeated the Hoos once this season.  The Wolfpack are not lacking speed, quickness or firepower as they know a victory will allow them to separate from the ACC pack which includes the Cavaliers.  Both teams are 13-5 on the season and this game will allow the winner to pad their NCAA tourney resume. Virginia is still one game back of the ‘Pack in the crowded ACC for second place. 

 

The game was not a beauty pageant unless you love turnovers and missed shots.  Each team struggled to break loose for the defensive grip of the other.  It reminded you of shadowing boxing except there was contact and lots of it.

 

The teams traded many missed shots and NCSt took the early lead at 6-3 thanks to Virginia’s sloppiness.  The Cavaliers continued to work their defense and found some rhythm with a 7-0 run, holding the Wolfpack scoreless for over four minutes.  When former Hoo Casey Morsell stopped the streak with a bucket, the game then turned into a slog but Virginia continued to clamp down on defense.

 

In the last six minutes and 34 seconds, Virginia limited the Wolfpack to a single free throw.  In that span, Virginia created separation with 11 points and took a 27-15.  The catalyst was the work on the boards. Virginia outgained NC State 29-12, with 13 of them offensive.  

 

Both teams worked hard on the defense creating a total of 12 turnovers and each team shot poorly.  Virginia made the only two 3pt field goals of the 14 attempts by both teams.  The Hoos shot 35% from the floor while holding the visitors to 25% in the half. 

 

NC State shot out the gate from halftime and scored first but the teams traded buckets until Virginia went on a 9-0 spurt to take a 35-21 lead.  The home team and crowd were in a frenzy and the visiting team looked as if they were done.  However, the game was about to really begin.  The light switch came on for NC St and over the last 15 minutes of the half, they dominated. 

 

The offense clicked with DJ Burns and Casey Morsell leading the charge.  For over eight minutes, the team in red got all the bounces and made shots from all points on the court as they made a 20-5 run that gave them a 41-40 lead at the 4-minute mark.

 

From there it was more like hand to hand combat, as neither team could take more than a four point lead.  With the ball, under 10 seconds, the Wolfpack trailed by two, 47-45, and it seemed Virginia was going to escape.  NC State was able to get their own offensive rebound and with the putback by Michael O’Connell, the game was tied heading into overtime. 

 

In the extra session, Virginia is scored the first six points, none bigger than a 3point swish from Taine Murray who also made 3 free throws to lead the Hoos to a nail biting victory at 59-53.

In the end, Virginia made enough plays to create the advantage as they doubled up NC State 12-6 in scoring in overtime.  The game was essentially won by Virginia from the rebounding advantage of 54-32 with 20 offensive boards leading to extra possessions.  The Cavs also shot slightly better at 37% compared to NC State’s 35% from the floor.

 

The win gives the teams a split in the season in their two contests.  The win gives Virginia a 14-5 record overall as NC St . drops to 13-6, but both are tied at 5-3 in the ACC.

 

Stats and Stars

UVA - 5 guys in double digit scoring
Ryan Dunn 13 pts, 12 rebs, 6 blocks
Taine Murray 11 pts (off the bench), 2-2 on 3ptrs
Jordan Minor 10 pts, 9 rebs, 1 steal

 

NC State - Forced 15 turnovers

Casey Morsell 13 pts, 2 rebs
DJ Burns 11 pts, 3 Rebs
Michael O’Connell 10 pts, 4 rebs (off the bench)

 

EMSPORTS.org 1/24/2024

in the commonwealth clash, virginia defends their home court, beats virginia tech, 65-57

 

The Cavaliers and the Hokies renew their annual matchup on the hard court.  The teams separated by roughly 150 miles, have more in common this season. Both teams are trying to stay afloat in a highly contested ACC.  

 

The Cavaliers are playing like Jekyll and Hyde as they try to figure out how to be successful on the road as they are at home.  The Hokies are also striving for consistency and look to take the momentum of a victory over Clemson into the matchup in Charlottesville. 

 

The Hoos have an extra boost as they welcome PG Dante Harris back who missed 10 games with injury.  The Hokies and Hoos shared an identical 2-3 conference record, so this game was critical as they looked to separate from the middle of the pack. 

 

The game got off to a slow start as both teams played defense with great tenacity.  The Hokies took a 9-6 lead on a Hunter Cattoor three pointer with a little over 15 minutes to play.  Tech went back up 11-10 until Virginia went on a 13-2 run holding the Hokies without a field goal for nearly six minutes during that span.

 

The defense was exceptional for UVA and the halftime lead of 25-18 was spearheaded by Reece Beekman who had 10 points and two rebounds and two assists.  Tech had more rebounds (19-17) but their shooting was putrid.  They made six shots at 27% from the field and just 4 of 12 from behind the 3pt arc.  

 

Virginia Tech splashed home a 3pt field goal at the end of the half and opened up the second half with another three point splash to cut the lead to 25-21.  Virginia regrouped and the offense responded.  A quick 9-0 run punctuated by a Reece Beekman alley-oop to Ryan Dunn for a thunder dunk lifted the roof off the arena and gave the Cavaliers a 34-21 lead.

 

The Hokies may a few runs but at each turn, Virginia found a big basket or a defensive stop to minimize the damage from Virginia Tech’s hot shooting from behind the arc.

 

Virginia outscored the Hokies 40 to 39 after the intermission.  The Hokies made 7 three-pointers where Virginia made none however the Cavs made their presence in the paint which helped them shoot over 46% from the field while the visitors shot just under 39%.

 

Virginia got contributions across the board as eight of the ten players scored.  The bench was responsible for 19 points outscoring Tech who had 12.

 

Jordan Minor, with his best game as a Hoo, scored 16 points to tie Beekman for high honors on the team.  Sean Pedulla led all scorers with 18.  His teammates in double figures included Hunter Cattoor with 12 and Robbie Beran with 10.

 

Virginia (12-5, 3-3 ACC) will look to move their winning ways into road success as they travel to Georgia Tech on Saturday.  The Virginia Tech squad (10-7) will have to travel as well when they go visit the NC State Wolfpack on Saturday, too.  

 

With the win, the Cavaliers extend their home winning streak to 20 victories, the nation's best mark.

 

EMSPORTS.org 1/17/24

Virginia came up short against Duke  

The Wahoo Ladies came up short against Duke. The Blue Devils shot 40% from the floor Virginia fell behind early and could not gain a lead as the Cavaliers fell to Duke  60-56, Sunday afternoon (Jan. 7) at John Paul Jones Arena.  Camryn Taylor led the Hoos with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting, pulled down eight rebounds, and added three steals. the Cavaliers shot 30 percent. Duke went up early on Virginia 13 to 3
in the first quarter Virginia score 9 points to cut the lead  Blue Devils’lead back to one, 13-12. Duke scored the last four points of the quarter to lead it, 17-12, heading into the second. In addition to Brunelle, London Clarkson, and Taylor all picked up two early fouls in the opening period. Taylor led all scorers at the half with eight points, including six in the second quarter, on 2-of-4 shooting and knocked down all four of her attempts at the charity stripe. UVA shot 21 percent in the second quarter. Taylor scored nine of her 17 total points in the third quarter.
Reigan Richardson with 18 points and Kennedy Brown 13 to Lead Duke to Victory. 
Kymora Johnson a freshman For the Cavaliers had 14 points Eight rebounds two stills three assists    1/7/24  EM-SPORTS.ORG

 

virginia clips the louisville cardinals wings with 77-53 victory at jpj

The 2023 year ended with a dud for the Cavaliers.  They headed to Notre Dame looking for an ACC road win.  The Fighting Irish lived up to their name and handed Virginia one of the worst losses in the Tony Bennett era.

 

The loss was left in 2023 and the Cavaliers (10-3) return home looking to start a new streak and begin afresh in 2024.  The nemesis will be the visiting Louisville Cardinals who have had a very rough start to their season.  The Cardinals (5-7) are already 0-1 in the ACC and just endured a near 20-point shellacking at home to in-state rival, the Kentucky Wildcats.  The Cardinals have also struggled in road games at JPJ, where they have not won in seven previous contests.

 

Louisville took a quick 2-0 lead in the first 30 seconds and then a 5-2 lead within first five minutes.  That is about the only bright spots for the Cardinals.  Virginia began to execute the game plan by feeding off the tight man-to-man pressure and turned up the defensive heat on the Cardinals.  The Hoos made the right moves and most of their shots while forcing Louisville into repeated errors.

 

Cavalier’s took a 37-22 lead at the half and never looked back.  The Cards scored the first four points after halftime but that would be as close as they would get.  Once the score was 37-26, the Cavaliers methodically increased the lead to over 20 points in the second half and maintained the advantage for the remainder of the game.

 

Louisville spent the entire second half playing catch-up and could never gain any sustained momentum.  

 

Stars for the home team were Issac McKneely with 18 points 4 made 3pt field goals. Ryan Dunn produced a double-double 15 points, 10 rebounds and 

Taine Murray, off the bench, with ACC career high 12 points.  

Reece Beekman was his constant, steady playmaker with stats in multiple categories, 11 points, game highs with 8 assists and three steals.

 

UVA shot 52% and 38% from three point land while taking a 34 to 27 advantage on the boards.  The ball security was immaculate as Virginia had 20 assists to only three turnovers while Louisville had just 10 assists and eight turnovers. 

 

The visitors were led in scoring by Curtis Williams with 14 from his reserve role and 11 from starter Mike James. The team shot at a clip of 40% from the field and just 24% behind the 3pt arc.

 

The loss places the Louisville Cardinals at 5-8 (0-2 in ACC) on the year while Virginia improves to 11-3 (2-1 in ACC).

 

EMSPORTS.org 1/3/2024 

virginia crushes morgan state, 79-44, in last nonconference battle

The Cavaliers return to the friendly comforts of home after suffering a devastating loss at the home of the Memphis Tigers.  The Cavs have been away for over a week and now will use those lessons learned to start a new winning streak and remove the sting of the last loss.

 

The Cavaliers (9-2) will make room for the Morgan State Bears (4-10), a common opponent over the last several years.  The Bears are a scrappy and athletic outfit who will have their work cut out against a stingy defense in UVA’s Packline system.

 

The Cavaliers have a chance to knock off some holiday rust as they wrap up their non-conference schedule.  This game will also allow the Hoos to fine tune their rough spots as they gear up for ACC contests going forward.  

 

The Bears are looking to throw caution to the wind and pull off the massive upset.  A victory on the court of JPJ, would jumpstart the Bears as they look ahead to their MEAC battles. 

 

Virginia wasted little time and energy to establish their dominance from the tip. Jacob Groves got the scoring started with a three-pointer and the Cavaliers flexed their defensive muscle allowing only ten points in the first 13 minutes of the first half.  The Cavaliers were proficient from the floor scoring 24 points in that time frame.  The defense restricted the Bears from getting into any rhythm.  There were multiple scoring droughts from the field of five minutes or more for the Bears.  

 

The Hoos took the halftime lead at 43-16 on the strength of shooting a scorching 53% from the field and nearly 46% from behind the 3pt arc.

 

Morgan State struggled with anemic shooting.  They converted 26% from the floor and only slightly better at 33% from distance.  

 

The second half was more on the same as Virginia continued to blaze the nets and the defense was just as impressive.

 

Morgan State was able to shoot slightly better after halftime.  It was not enough as Virginia never let the lead go under 22 points for the entire half.  

 

The game was well in hand and the benches  were in heavy rotation.  Virginia’s last five points were scored by members of the “Green Team” with Tristan How recording a bucket and the final points were scored on a  Bryce Walker three-point shot.

 

Virginia outrebounded the Bears by six, 39-33.  They also were better with the ball committing half the turnovers (5) to the Bears’ (10).

Rob Lawson and Kameron Hobbs led the way with 14 and 12 points, respectively.

 

The Cavaliers had four guys score in double digits.  Reece Beekman led all scorers with 17 points.  Three of his teammates scored 10 each, Jacob Groves, Andrew Rohde and Leon Bond III.

 

The win gives Virginia a 10-2 record as they prepare for the ACC slate.  The Cavs will visit Notre Dame on Saturday, Dec. 30th.  Morgan St. falls to 4-11 on the season and head to NJIT on New Year’s Eve Sunday.

 

EMSPORTS.org 12/27/2023

NORTHEASTERN GIVES THE CAVALIERS A SCARE, BUT UVA SURVIVES WITH 56-54 WIN

Virginia took a break from the court to hit the books for exams.  They worked just as hard preparing for a return to the court after an 11-day layoff.

 

The Cavaliers were still enjoying the homestand and they welcomed the Northeastern Huskies, who at 4-6, were looking for a big upset.

 

The Cavs crushed NCCU Eagle son their last game and looked to stay perfect at home with a victory over the Huskies.   Northeastern came in as an underdog but came out with force.  They jumped out to a 6-2 lead with a couple of 3-pointers and as the Cavaliers stayed cold, the Huskies continued scoring.  The visitors increased the lead to 16-6 and the Hoos were struggling.

 

The Cavaliers picked up the defensive pace and the offense followed.  A 14-2 run provided the home team with a 20-18 lead and the crowd was finally able to cheer.  The lead didn’t last.  Northeastern collected their poise and closed the last 4minutes and 32 seconds of the half on a 12-4 run to the shock of the arena and led 30-24.  

 

The Cavaliers were led in scoring by Reece Beekman who had 10 points to lead all scorers.  The team was rather flat otherwise.  The Huskies shot nearly 50% on the half and they grabbed 21 rebounds.  Virginia had only 12 boards and was outshot from the three point line as well as Northeastern made 4 to Virginia’s 0.

 

The second half looked to have a change in the score but the start was not to UVA’s liking.  

 

Northeastern continued to attack the basket and cutdown on their turnovers.  The  Huskies stretched the lead to the largest of the game at 37-24 with seven consecutive points to start the second half. Virginia slowly cranked up the defense and proceeded to get back into the game with their efficient, methodical play. In a ten minute span, Virginia produced a 21-7 

Cavalanche and grabbed the lead at 45-44.

 

The last six minutes of the game became a seesaw affair where neither team pulled away with more than a two point margin.

 

The punch-counterpunch action led to tough buckets and tougher defense.  Northeastern pulled ahead at 50-48 before Virginia tied it at 50.  The teams traded buckets until Virginia took a final lead at 56-54.  Reece Beekman provided the bucket with about 5 seconds left and each of 21 points was needed.  The game was not cover because with around three seconds the Huskies had one more chance.  The in-bounds pass was errant and the Cavaliers escaped with a 56-54 home victory. 

 

The Cavaliers lost the rebounding battle at 35-28 but were able to overcome their poor shooting creating 17 turnovers while committing only five. 

 

The win pushes the ranked Hoos to 9-1 in the season with their next game a visit to Memphis.  Chris Doherty led the visitors with 12 points and Joe Pridgen added 11. The gamed and persistent Huskies fall to 4-7 but they gained the respect of the Cavaliers. 


EMSPORTS.org 12/16/2023

VIRGINIA ROLLS PAST THE NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL EAGLES, 77-47

The Virginia Cavaliers started a new month with a thumping of ACC fellow member, the Syracuse Orange.  The team was in sync from the start and several big offensive explosions sealed the fate of Syracuse.

 

The Cavs welcomed out of conference for, the North Carolina Central University Eagles for the first time to John Paul Jones Arena.  The Eagles entered at 4-5 and are facing another Power 5 opponent after battling with Kansas and Georgia earlier in the year.  Virginia enters their third straight home game with a heavy advantage and momentum gained from the victory a few days ago.

 

The Cavaliers came out the gate slow as they and the Eagles missed some early shots but Issac McKneely open up the scoring with consecutive threes and the offense got it going.  NCCU did not back away.  Even though McKneely was on fire from 3pt land, the Eagles closed the gap to 16-10 on a Perry Smith Jr. layup with a little over five minutes gone by in game time.

From that moment on, the Cavalanche was in effect and Packline Defense was lethal. Virginia unleashed a 25-7 run to completely control the game and remove any momentum from the visitors of North Carolina. The lead of 41-17 at half was all the home crowd needed to keep the buzz going.

 

The Hoos did nearly half of their scoring from the 3pt line where they made seven in the half.  Those 21 points alone outpaced the entire Eagles’ offense.

 

McKneely led all scorers with 14.

 

The Eagles were down three starters and it had an effect on the team’s production.  The Cavaliers were hitting on all cylinders and they didn’t let up in the second half. The shooting did not slowdown and the defense continued frustrating the Eagles at every turn.  In the first five minutes, Virginia extended the lead to 52-20 with a mixture of jump shots and inside efficiency.  The Eagles played fairly even with the Cavs over the majority of the half. 

 

The Cavaliers were able to extend the lead, doubling the Eagles at 74-37 with just under five minutes.  From there, the Eagles finished the game on a 10-3 run.  It was not enough with the home team pulling away and coasting to a 77-47 victory. 

 

The defense set the tone and NCCU could never crack the code.  They finished with an anemic shooting of 29.4% from the field and a measly 17.6% from behind the three-point arc.  The team collected 30 total rebounds while committing just nine turnovers.

 

The Cavaliers, in contrast, showed tremendous shooting touch and were stingy with the ball.  The team shot over 54% from the floor and made half the shots (4-8) when they launched from distance.  The Cavs gobbled up 40 boards with only five turnovers. 

 

Virginia was led by sharpshooter McKneely, who made six 3pt shots for the second straight game and finished with 22 points to lead all scorers.  His other teammates in double figures, were Leon Bond III (14) and Elijah Gertrude (13) off the bench.

 

The Eagles had three in double figures as well.  Smith Jr. led the team with 12.   Guy Fauntleroy recorded 11 and Josh Smith had 10.


The win gives Virginia a 8-1 record and North Carolina Central falls to 4-6 overall. 

 

EMSPORTS.org 12/5/2023

 

 

UVA Football: 2023 Virginia Football Awards Announced

 

 

Most Improved – Eli Wood

Eli Wood proved to be one of the Hoos top coverage players on special teams in 2023. He participated on all four special team units. He was frequently the first Cavalier defender to arrive at the point of attack to shed would-be blockers or engage the opponent kick returner.  a former EC.Glass football  player  

12/3/2023

 

virginia loses in last seconds to nc state at home in acc opener

 Virginia looked to bounce back with another Friday night battle.  This was bo ordinary Friday night.  The Cavs returned home after a loss at heated rival Maryland.  They looked to take some revenge in their ACC opener versus NC State.  The Wolfpack were 2-1 but the real story was the return of record breaking QB Brennan Armstrong. Armstrong finished his career at UVA as the all-time leader in total yardage and single season passing yards.  His return highlighted a chance for the Cavaliers redemption and finally put a W in the win column.
 
This game had some good and bad moments but it was NC St who started fast and took a 14-7 lead into the half.  Virginia made every effort to get the lead but could only grab field goals when the got into the redzone and Armstrong made up for his earlier INT with a beautiful TD strike to freshman WR Kevin Concepcion. The budding superstar scored his second touchdown of the game and it gave the Wolfpack a 21-13 lead as the fourth quarter slowly started running out.
 
That is when some Cavalier magic took over.  Freshman Tony Colandrea, the QB who was shown promise this year, got his team to follow his lead.  With his legs and arm, Colandrea pushed the Cavaliers to the cusp of the goal line.  With only 36 seconds remaining, Colandrea found superstar WR Malik Washington and the duos second scoring connection gave the Hoos life and the home crowd was in a frenzy.  However, the team still needed a two-point conversion.  That was not as easy, a personal foul penalty made the attempt an 18 yard try and Colandrea did it agin this time floating a jump ball into the waiting hands of WR Malachi Fields.  The game was tied at 21 and it looked like overtime was on the horizon.
 
Another flag, another unnecessary penalty and this time valuable yardage for the Wolfpack.  The Cavaliers kickoff was returned back into their own territory and it would be a harbinger of things to come.  Brennan Armstrong made the plays with his feet and arm that made him a Virginia favorite.  This time it caused the home team grief and setup the game winning field goal.  
 
NC State stole victory out of the jaws of defeat and let the despondent fans of Orange in Blue in disappointment.  The 24-21 victory left UVa winless and improved the Wolfpack to 3-1.
 
Stars for the night.
 
 

Armstrong was 15/30 for 180 and rushed for 64 yds and two touchdowns.
Colandrea was 18/30 for 271 and running for 43 yards. Colandrea had two TDs along with two interceptions.

 

WRs Washington and Concepcion were the games big playmakers.  Each collected over 100 yards each and both received two touchdowns in the air.

 

EMSPORTS.org 9/23/2023

in an emotional home opener, virgina loses in heartbreaking fashion 36-35 to jmu dukes

The football team of the Virginia Cavaliers had waited nearly 10 months for this moment.  The program, the university and all of Wahoo Nation had circled this date on their respective calendars once the 2023 schedule was public.  The season started, officially, last week versus the University of Tennessee, but all eyes were on this game.  This would be Virginia's first home game since the shooting tragedy that claimed the lives of three football players.

 

This team was poised and focused on honoring their fallen teammates and bring a much need victory to the Wahoo Faithful. The opponent was the James Madison Dukes.  The team from Harrisonburg had paid homage to the Virginia program recognizing the players from last year's tragedy with stickers on their helmets.

 

The reality was this game was huge for both programs who were headed in opposite directions.  Virginia had not won in nearly a year and the Dukes had become members of a new conference, Sun Belt, and were 1-0 after winning their season opener.

 

The Hoos got off to a rough start.  They allowed a TD on the opening JMU drive and then the offense stalled deep in their own territory.  The punt was blocked and JMI recovered for another TD.

 

Virginia answered back when 1st year Tony Colandrea in his first start shows he was capable.  Colandrea connected with Malik Washington for a 63-yd catch and run.  JMU increased the lead to 17-7 before Virginia scored 21 straight points to grab a 28-17 lead.

 

JMU responded right before the fourth quarter and trailed 35-24 after Mike Hollins scored his second TD with seconds left in the third quarter. JMU was not fazed and proceeded to outscore Virginia 12-0 as the defense shut the door in the fourth quarter.

 

The JMU team scored twice and finished off the comeback with a TD pass with 55 seconds left.  Virginia behind the strong performance of Colandrea, (20-26, 377 yards with two TDs and 1 interception), the Cavs had a chance.  They needed just a field goal down a point but could not get one more big play and fell in the emotionally charged contest by a score of 36-35 to their in-state foe.

 

Jordan McCloud was very strong for the Dukes.  He was 20-31 with 224 yards passing and no turnovers.  He led a balance attack as JMU gains 228 in the air and 167 on the ground.  Virginia was more one-dimensional as they also gained 395 yards like JMU but the heavy damage was from Colandrea (377 yards) while the other 18 yards were from rushes.

 

The loss drops Uva to 0-2 while JMU improves to 2-0.

 

EMSPORTS 9/9/2023

UVA ENDS REMARKABLE SEASON AT 50-15 IN OMAHA, PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE

The thrill of being in the NCAA Final 8 or Division 1 College World Series is a dream come true for the most dedicated and fiercest working college baseball team.  The road to Omaha, Nebraska is paved with potholes, challenges and the situations beyond your control.

 

The Virginia Cavaliers have performed in the highest level for two decades under Coach Brian O’Connor the Charlottesville community has enjoyed the fruits of labor when their might Cavaliers have found the right combination of pitching, hitting and defense to make six trips to the hallowed diamond.

 

Virginia had achieved this year’s trip with a super regional championship over fellow brethren, the Duke Blue Devils.  After vanquishing the Blue Devils, the Wahoos prepared for an opening game versus a familiar foe, the Florida Gators.

 

These two worthy adversaries had met recently in 2015, the year the Cavaliers won the title.  The Gators had not been to Omaha some 2018, when they captured their first national title.

 

The game was a battle of pitching and defense.  A few errors early on the base paths took away some early chances for Virginia.  Florida struck first and took a quick 1-0 lead.  Virginia responded quickly before taking a 4-1 lead late into the game.

 

The Cavaliers looked to be in control as they led 5-2 in the eighth inning where they were extremely effective in closing games out.

 

The Florida Gators had other ideas and none proved good for Virginia.  The Gators overcame a 5-3 lead with three runs in the ninth inning including the walk-off sacrifices fly to steal a victory from the Hoos by a score of 6-5.

 

The loss left Virginia in an unenviable task of attempting to win four games in five days while Florida could breathe a sigh of relief for they escaped with a momentous win.

 

The Cavaliers were disappointed but not out of it.  They had a quick turnaround when they refocused in an elimination game bs the TCU Horned Frogs.  

 

Both teams were on the verge of elimination and each team could not afford any big mistakes.

 

One of the characteristics of Virginia’s great season was their offense.  The Cavs were first in the country hitting at a .335 clip.  It was the aspect that would let them down. 

 

The battle versus TCU was another rematch from a college World Series game nearly a decade ago.  This time the Horned Frogs used timely hitting (runners in scoring position and clutch pitching to fend off a Cavaliers comeback.  The Cavaliers played from behind all day, briefly tying the score at 1 before having a final chance with a runner on second with two outs down 1.  It was not meant to be and the struggle to get hits all game (5) was present in the final frame.

 

The heart breaking, season clenching loss placed a sudden damper to a remarkable season.  With 50 wins and another trip to Omaha, Virginia continues to show the nation they are a program with high goals and consistently a threat to push for the top spot in the NCAA baseball tournament in June ever year.


EMPORTS.org 6/18/2023 

virginia headed to omaha, beat duke to win super regionals

In late April, the Virginia Cavaliers were scrambling on the field and struggling to put together victories.  What a difference time and patience can make when you don't lose faith.

 

A small change in the lineup and a few pitching moves and the Cavaliers became the dominant team they have known to be in June.

 

Virginia captured the Charlottesville Regional with a perfect 3-0 record beating the Army Black Knights, 15-1.  They then defeated the East Carolina Pirates twice with a 2-1 grinding victory before finishing them off in the championship by a score of 8-3.  As the Cavaliers celebrated their wins, they knew there was more waiting.  In the process of advancing to the super regionals, the Cavaliers were trending in the right direction.  They won 10 stright games before a loss the North Carolina in the ACC tournament.  The loss only fueled their competitive spirit when they were rewarded with the #7 national seed for the NCAA tournament.

 

The other element to the success was the outstanding performances of the starting pitching which consisted of the arms of Nick Parker, Connelley Early and Brian Edgington.  The three had combined to lead the Hoos on the mound but most importantly their consistency and ability to gobble up innings kept the bullpen fresh and efficient.  The three weekend starters did nothing to give the opposing team any favors.

 

In the Charlottesville Regional, the three combined to give up only 3 earned runs in the three games.  Nick Parker pitched five perfect innings in his start while Early and Edgington both got into the 7th inning on their starts.  The offense was just as impressive as they outscored their counterparts 25-5 in those three contests.

 

A familiar foe returned to Charlottesville with a chance to make the All-ACC Super Regional a memorable affair.  The Dule Blue Devils were the last team to win in Charlottesville and they had given Virginia two of the four losses (35-4) the Cavs had experienced all season on their home field.  The Duke Blue Devils had blasted their way through the Conway Regional hosted by #10 National Seed Coastal Carolina.  In their 4 games, the Blue Devils hammered 12 homeruns and scored 12 runs twice.  MJ Metz, the powerful DH, finished with four homers, with three in the opening game.  Duke was equally effective with the long ball when they took two of three in late April at Davenport Field in Disharoon Park.

 

The Cavaliers were not the same team they were six weeks ago and the goal to get to Omaha was much closer now than before.  The Cavaliers had been sensational in the chance to advance to TD Ameritrade Park. In 7 previous super regionals, the Cavaliers advanced in five of those series including a 4-1 record when they were the host.

 

The trend of pitching would be the key as Duke usually relied on multiple arms as their bullpen was tremendously impressive and were able to hold leads.  The Hoos would also be able to counter with big arms but the operating method was to get a strong start from their big 3, all who were transfers from other Division 1 programs. 

 

Game 1, Duke 5 - Virginia 4

Nick Parker took the mound and was steady and impressive.  He left the game with the score tied at 3-3 and gave the Cavaliers a great chance to win.  The offense responded and scored in the bottom of the 7th and took a 4-3 lead. The relievers were not able to keep the lead as the often reliable combination of Jay Woolfolk and Jake Berry was just slighlty off.  The Duke Blue Devils were able to scratch across two runs which was an anomaly to a Cavalier team that only lost 1 game when leading after the seventh inning.  Duke's familiarity with the bullpen from Virginia and their confidence and memory of winning in Charlottesville before paid off to help them escape with a 5-4 win.  This win put the Cavaliers on the brink of elimination and made game 2 the must win scenario that know one wants to face.

 

Game 2, Virginia 14 - Duke 4

Connolley Early took the mound and knew what faced his team.  The Army transfer was brilliant throughout the year, take an 11-2 record and had just defeated a talented ECU team just a week ago.  

 

The Duke Blue Devils were stoked after winning in dramatic fashion and only 1 win away from taking this team to the College World Series, the first time they had been in 62 years.  The Duke team has been this close before when they took a 1-0 lead at Vanderbilt in 2019 only to lose the next two games.  Would history repeat themselves?

 

Virginia started early and never let up.  Griff O'Ferrall got the party started.  As the visiting team, the Cavaliers hit first and did they take advantage of it.  The second pitch of the game was a success for the Cavaliers.  O'Ferrall liked what he saw and picked the perfect time to hit his first homer of the season.  The homerun ignited the team and the Cavalanche had just begun. 

 

Virginia scored in six of the nine innnigs with several being big 4 run innings.  In the process, the Blue Devils were only able to pose a threat in the fourth inning when a collection of hits from the bottom of the lineup, Tyler Albright, Luke Storm and Davin Lux spearheaded three-spot and the Cavaliers were only up 4-3 as the game moved into the fifth.

 

Virginia was not deterred and remained focused.  As the Cavaliers scored 10 consecutive runs and erased any chance of a Blue Devils' comeback.  The pitching was handles by Early who gave his longest performance of the year and it was more than enough.  The bullpen duty turned to freshman swingman Jack O'Connor.  He was effective only allowing one run to finish off Duke and set up the rubber game 3 that would determine which ACC team would represent the conference in Omaha.   The offense was the story as they produced as many hits (14) as they did runs and the homerun ball was responsible for four of those hits, the most ever hit by a Virginia team in a super regional game.

 

Game 3, Virginia 12 - Duke 2

To the winner goes the spoils or the joys of winning.  To the loser, the agony of getting so close to getting to the mecca of college baseball only to see just how long the wait may be before you have this chance again.

 

Welcome to the final game at Davenport Field and the last game of the season for some team and its rabid fans.

 

The Cavaliers turned to their veteran, Brian Edgington, who was Virginia's winning pitcher in the previous series against Duke.  Edgington has been dependable and super reliable with his win against ECU a week prior giving the Cavaliers the chance to reach this round.  Edgington had tossed 7 quality innings in the 8-3 victory over ECU and he was capable and able to give the same performance to finsih Duke.  The Blue Devils knew history was on the line.  They were capable of getting hot and blowing a team out but first they had to get a strong pitching performance from their plethora of arms which had been highly successful all year.

 

The model of success had been for Duke to get up and early lead and sustain until they could get to the back end of the bullpen with the arms of Frank Oschell and closer James Tallon, ACC Freshman of the Year.  The Cavaliers knew if they could grind and be patient that Duke would eventually run out of quality arms.  That was the case on this closeout game.

 

After a scoreless first, the home standing Cavaliers, jumped out to a lead they would never relinquish.  The Hoos had become synonymous with scoring in bunches and the second inning was no different.  Five Cavaliers crossed the plate and it was all Edgington needed to command the tenor of the game.  The 5-0 lead was untouched until a two-run homer from 2B Jay Beshears in the sixth inning, ruined the shutout but not the complete game victory.  Edgington was masterful in the matchup, throwing a complete game.  He recorded 11 strikeouts (season high) and scattered nine hits throughout the game.  In contrast, Duke could not find the right combination nor stop the bleeding as nine different Blue Devils took the mound and all were ineffective and Virginia steamrolled their way into another invitation to the College World Series with a statement victory of 12-2.  The offense continue to make Duke's life too tough to handle as the Cavaliers put up 16 hits.  By comparison, Duke tied its lowest run output (2), the same amount they had in an opening round win in the regionals against Rider.

 

Virginia makes their sixth College World Series appearance in the last 14 years all under the supervision of Coach Brian O'Connor.  The Cavaliers were the 2015 champion and will look to add to their championship hardware and history by adding trophy number two in the next two weeks.

 

They will have a tough road ahead with their opening matchup versus another champion, the Florida Gators, the SEC regular season champs who are the #2 National Seed.  These teams have faced each other in previous College World Series contests.  The opening game will take place on Friday, June 16th at 2pm EST.

 

EMSPORTS.org 6/11//2023

 

 

virginia stumbles but recovers to record sweeps, enter acc tourney as coastal division champs

The ACC is a tough obstacle course and Virginia had a bumpy ride in April. The Hoos swept the Miami Hurricanes and were looking to run away from the rest of the ACC in the Coastal with an 11-4 standing. The bats were ready and the pitching arms kept the opponents at bay.  As good as it was going, the Cavaliers then hit an unfortunate snag in the season.  The next three series did not go as planned and the team was struggling with consistency and scoring.  The Cavaliers enjoyed dominance over non-conference teams but couldn’t get over the hump as the low point in this stretch included a sweep at the hands of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

 

The losses looked to stymie the early season momentum and Virginia was looking up at Duke and Miami with a 13-11 record and losing position for the ACC tournament.

 

The Cavaliers were staring at adversity and needed to turn the ship around in their last two ACC series.  The season with such promise and high national rankings was staring to slip into an abysmal finish.

 

Virginia controlled their destiny and they proved their mettle with by finishing the season with a nine-game winning streak.  As they had done all year, the Cavaliers did not let any ACC besmirch their record and that did not change with three wins over Conmonwealth teams in this order, VCU, JMU then Radford.  

 

With those wins Virginia finished undefeated against their non-ACC opponents at 25-0.  This was the first time a D1 team had accomplished this feat since 2016.  The wins paved the way for their last two ACC opponents, Louisville and Georgia Tech.

 

The Cavs used this newfound momentum to complete consecutive sweeps and grab the Coastal Division Title.  The 19-11 conference record secured the overall #2 seed for the postseason tourney in Durham.

 

EMSPORTS.org 5/22/2023

VIRGINIA ENJOYs STRONG ACC START, GRABS COASTAL DIVISION LEAD

The Cavaliers enjoyed great success as their veteran players gave them a boost that few teams could match.  The stacked lineup included preseason ACC stars 3B Jake Gelof and C Kyle Teel.  In addition, talented sophomores 1B Ethan Anderson and Freshman All-American OF Casey Saucke, gave the lineup some legit power and a nightmare for opposing pitchers.  

 

The Cavaliers won their first three ACC series.  The wins included a trip to NC State and a strong showing with a sweep of the Florida State Seminoles.  THowever, the tide turned with a visit into southwest VA.  The Hoos were ready to continue their winning ways but lost their first ACC series in the matchup with their in-state foes, the Virginia Tech Hokies. 

 

As they had done in each series, the Cavaliers won the first game to set the tone and put pressure on their counterpart.  However it was not the same recipe for success in Blacksburg.  After a successful month of March, the dud was finishing with two straight loss at the end of the month.  The Hoos dropped the last two at VT to fall to 8-4 in ACC play.  

 

The game two loss ended their seven-game conference winning streak.  The Hokies’ bats came alive and averaged 12 runs in their two wins.  Virginia still had a hold of the Coastal Division lead as the calendar turned to April.

 

With the losses, the Cavaliers were looking to regroup and jump back into the win column and not let this one blip become a theme for the rest of the season.

 

EMSPORTS.org  3/31/2023

 

NCAA Tournament: VIRGINIA LOSES HEARTBREAKER TO FURMAN BY A SCORE OF 68-67

In the NCAA Tournament, there are a few phrases that are universal to any fan.  “March Madness” is the calling card but a close cousin is “One and Done”.  In each case, the phrase seems to take in a life of its own.

 

This was truly felt as a shockwave rippled through the Virginia fans and team with a surprising upset loss at the hands of 13-seeded Furman Paladins. The #4 seeded Cavaliers were the favorite and looking to bounce back from a grinder in the loss to Duke in the ACC tournament final.

 

The game started on a good note as Virginia took a quick 6-0 lead and then expanded it to 19-9.  However, Furman, the Southern Conference Champs of the regular season and tournament, did not feel the press and started to make shots to stem the Virginia tide.  The Paladins were not intimidated and found themselves only down 32-27 at the half.  The success of the three-point shot made a huge difference as Furman made four and Virginia made zero on the first half.  Virginia instead rules the paint and it allowed them the advantage.

 

The second half was played to Virginia’s liking and the defense was leading the way.  Virginia methodically put the clamps on Furman and pushed the lead to 12, at 50-38 with 11 minutes to play.

 

Furman knew they needed to switch it up or they would be packing their bags.  A timely change from the man to man defense to an extended 1-3-1 half court zone was the catalyst to a 19-4 run, allowing only one field goal by Virginia in over seven minutes.  Furman was in fire from behind the arc and their leader, SoCon Player of the Year, Jalen Slawson, scored nine straight to give them their first lead at 57-54.  The teams battle back and forth and just when Virginia looked to put the game away, the madness of March reared it’s ugly head.

 

Down 67-65, the Paladins broke out a fullcourt press with 12 seconds left.  The ball was inbounds and Kihei Clark had possession.  However, he attempted to heave the ball down the courts with nearly six seconds left.  The ball was intercepted by Furman.  With just under three seconds,  JP Pegues got the pass and made the biggest shot if his career.  A right wing three-pointer found the bottom of the net and the indescribable had happened, Furman had upset the Cavaliers and ended their season.

 

The 68-67 loss is the final game for several Cavaliers while Furman looks to continue to wear the slipper of the dance’s Cinderella just a little longer.  Furman had four starters in double digits led by 19 points and 10 rebounds from Slawson.  The Cavaliers got a double-double monster game from Kadin Shedrick with 15 points and 13 rebounds.  He was one of three Hoos in double digits.  The undoing was behind the 3pt arc where Furman finished at 10 of 28 while Virginia only made 2 of 12.

 

EMSPORTS.org 3/16/2023

UVA BASEBALL STARTS NEW SEASON ON FIRE

The University of Virginia raced out the gates for the 2022-2023 bases all season.  Last season ended with a bitter taste in the mouth of the Cavaliers who were looking to follow up the 2021 campaign with a return trip to Omaha, Nebraska, the site of the NCAA College World Series.  They team fell short of their destination losing in the regionals at Coastal Carolina University.  

 

The new season lined up with new energy and a new set of challenging opponents for the team from Charlottesville.  As the schedule lined it up, Virginia was knocking them down.  

 

The first 12 games were out of conference as each game went the same way as all 12 of those games were victories for Virginia.  

 

The Cavaliers entered ACC season on the road the at rival North Carolina.  The Tar Heels were looking to get off to a strong start and anytime UNC played UVA, no win would be better than against Virginia.

 

The Cavaliers spoiled the party at Chapel Hill winning the first two games of the three-game series.  The great pitching and strong offense was more than enough to overpower the Tar Heels in the first couple of games by a combined score of 15-7.

 

The Cavaliers ran their season opening winning streak to 14 games before falling to UNC in the final game of the series.  The winning streak bode well as a sign of starting fast on the ACC slate.

 

EMSPORTS.org 3/11/2023

virginia's defense is strong but offense is not as they fall to duke in acc finals, 59-49

 

Virginia will look to seek a third ACC tourney title for Coach Bennett.  His counterpart, John Scheyer, was attempting to win the tournament in his fist year at Duke. 

 

The ACC Championship was a rematch of an exciting but controversial game at John Paul Jones from about a month ago.  These two teams played an overtime thriller with Virginia winning in the only regular season matchup. 

 

The game was all Duke early on as they were able to make a few quick baskets and take an 11-5 lead with under 12 minutes to play.  Kyle Filipowski, the ACC Rookie of the Year, scored five of the points after a scoreless visit in Charlottesville.

 

The game was not for the faint of heart if you like offense.  To say anemic is a fair representation of both teams shooting and scoring.  Each team took 22 shots with Duke making nine to the six of Virginia.  From behind the three-point stripe, the percentages were worse with both teams making one shot apiece out of 15 tries.  Duke was able to grab a 24-17 halftime lead.

 

Filipowski was able to find the basket to the tune of 11 points to lead all scorers.  Reece Beekman accounted for six of the Hoos’ 17 points.  

 

With a chance to get the game back under control, Virginia made a few runs in the second half but could never reeled the Blue Devils back to even.  Instead, Duke made big shots and their defense was the difference.  Jeremy Roach stepped up to lead with a game high 23 points (19 in second half) and helped secure the ACC title in Jon Scheyer’s first season. Filipowski added 20 points to go with a game high 10 rebounds. 

 

The Blue Devils were pedestrian from the floor at 42% shooting and made just 4 of 13 from behind the 3pt line.  However, they forced more turnovers (12 v 11) and were a strong 17 for 22 from the free throw line.

 

Virginia was always climbing uphill and their touch from the field was missing all game.  They finished at 33% shooting and even worse with only 24% from the 3pt arc.  The Hoos were a solid 77% from the charity stripe making their all nine in the second half.  Reece Beekman scored 12 and Isaac McKneely finished with 10 to lead Virginia.

 

The teams will know await to hear their names called for the NCAA Tournament which starts in less than a week.

 

EMSPORTS.org 3/11/23

virginia advance to acc championship with runaway defeat of clemson 76-56

Virginia knew that the ACC Tournament required your best effort every game.  They had another obstacle in front of them in the form of Clemson who played them tough in a loss just 10 days ago.  The winner will face Duke in the finals.

 

Clemson finished off NC State in blowout fashion and they looked primed to pull the upset on the second seeded Cavaliers in this tournament.

 

The teams started fast and looked to be locked in step with each other, flipping the lead back and forth.  Virginia took an 11-10 lead after Kihei Clark layup and never trailed again.  The Cavaliers slowly started to overwhelm the Tigers.  As the half went on, the lead grew and Clemson’s cold spell grew as well.  After a Tyson Hall three-pointer, the Tigers were ready to make a move on down 29-25.  Then the infamous Cavalanche, Virginia’s ability to score in large amounts, appeared.  The Cavs finished the first half on an 8-0 run and it gave them a 37-25 lead at halftime.

 

The Cavaliers were in control but they didn’t let up in the second half.  The Clemson Tigers were in a drought and it was too much to overcome.  The final four minutes led to an extended four minutes before Hunter Tyson scored in a layup.  The Cavalanche had created 14 straight points and the game was for all intents and purposes over.

 

The Cavaliers were dominant and had the ability to score at will.  They stretched the lead to 23 points at 52-29 at the 13:45 mark.  The smooth movement of offense led Virginia to scoring 40 points in the paint nearly double the 22 paint points of the Tigers.

 

Eventually, the Tigers were just a step or two slope and Virginia never let up.  Virginia scored 39 points to Clemson’s 31 to put the finishing touches on an eye-popping 76-56 win. Jayden Gardner was the man again.  He recorded his second consecutive double-double, recording 23 points and 12 rebounds, both game highs.  Cavaliers also 

gained 16 points from Armaan Franklin and 13 from Kihei Clark.  The team shot 50% from field including six three pointers.  There were only six turnovers.  The Tigers made a push but it was futile.  Clemson finished the game at about 36% shooting and converting seven 3pts to six by Uva.

 

The dynamic duo of PJ Hall and Hunter Tyson were not able to take over the game and the supporting cast was not much better.  The two combined for 28 points, half of the team’s output.  Brevin Galloway scored 12.  

 

EMSPORTS.org 3/10/23

 

virginia opens acc tourney play with payback victory over north carolina by score of 68-59

As the Virginia Cavaliers prepare for the ACC Tournament, they have experienced several ups and downs in just the last few weeks.  The team lost as many game in February (3) as they had lost all year since the season began in November.

 

After a second consecutive loss, they seemed to regroup and put together two

wins at JPJ to close out the regular season and take momentum into postseason.

 

They have a chance for redemption when they face North Carolina for the third time.  The first two meetings were split with each team winning on their home court.  This game had more meaning because the winner would move onto the tourney semis while the loser had to wait for the NCAA to give them an invite to the big dance. 

 

The Cavaliers had to play without a starter in Ben Vander Plas who suffered a broken hand in practice prior to the game.  The Cavaliers had to adjust as it led to a slow slow start as UNC took a 13-9 lead with a little over eight minutes left in the first half.  The Cavaliers were sparked by their defense and it helped generate offense when the Hoos had a 14-2 run the grab a 23-15 lead with 3:10 on the clock.

 

The Tar Heels were struggling as well by had the ability to finish the half with an 8-2 run on the strength of two three-pointers to close the gap to 25-24 in favor of Virginia at the half

 

The teams shot a combined 6-21 from the 3pt arc and each shot roughly 40% from the field.

 

RJ Davis from UNC led all scorers with 12 while Reece Beekman led the Cavaliers with 11.

 

 The Tar Heels are shot makers and even without Bacot, they kept it close and made a run to get the score to 57-55 with under two minutes left after a RJ Davis free throw.

 

Virginia did not fold and sealed the victory with an 11-4 run making 9 out of 10 free throws.

 

The win puts Virginia at 24-6 with a date in the ACC semifinals where they will face the number 3 seeded - Clemson Tigers.  North Carolina is 20-13 and will have to see if they will get a bid to play in the NCAA tournament.  

 

Virginia - 

Jayden Gardner 17 points, 10 rebounds 

Reece Beekman 15 points, 5 assists, 5 steals

Armaan Franklin 14 points

Team shot 49% for the game but only 27% from the 3pt arc.  Eight steals and eight blocks with six turnovers.

 

North Carolina-

RJ Davis 24 points

Caleb Love 11 points

Five bench points for the entire game.

Team shot 36% from the field and 30% behind the 3pt arc and 11 turnovers.

 

EMSPORTS.org 3/9/2023

VIRGINIA HONORS SENIORS WITH BIG VICTORY ON SENIOR DAY OVER LOUISVILLE, 75-60

The 13th ranked Virginia Cavaliers knew  they had many goals this season.  The main goal is always to be the best in the ACC.

 

They accomplished that mission today and locked up another regular season championship, the sixth in the last 10 seasons.

 

This was a special Senior Day as the Hoos recognized the accomplishments and services of Ben Vander Plas, Jayden Gardner, Francisco Caffaro, Armaan Franklin, Chase Coleman and Kihei Coleman.

 

The offense was just as impressive with the nets on fire from the field as the Cavs made over 58% for the game and a strong 11 for 14 (78%) from the free throw line.

 

The first half was all Virginia as they jumped out to a quick lead and then applied pressure with made baskets and forced Louisville into shooting under 30% from the floor.  The Cavaliers put up 36 and took a commanding lead into the half at 36-20.  

 

Freshman guard Mike James was impressive scoring 24 points (game high) and drawing fouls against multiple Virginia Cavaliers.  His backcourt running mate, El Ellis, scored 14.  The Cardinals shot much better in second half to improve to over 43% for the game but were only 4 of 15 from behind the 3pt line.  They were very successful shooting 80% (16/20) from the charity stripe which collecting 25 rebounds and committing 12 turnovers.

 

Virginia (23-6) was able to collect 24 rebounds while committing only seven turnovers.  Nine Cavaliers scored led by the duo of Jayden Gardner and Armaan Franklin who both had 16.

 

The win locks up the second seed in the ACC Tournament for Virginia while Louisville (4-27) will be seeded 15th.

 

EMSPORTS.org 3/4/2023

 

2/27/23

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The family of legendary Virginia men’s basketball head coach and athletics director Terry Holland announced today that he passed away Sunday, Feb. 26, in Charlottesville. He was 80 years old.

 

Holland served as head coach at Virginia from 1974 to 1990, retiring as UVA’s all-time winningest men’s basketball coach with a 326-173 (.653) record. Holland guided the Cavaliers to a pair of NCAA Final Four berths (1981 and 1984), three consecutive ACC regular-season titles (1981-83), two Elite Eight appearances (1983 and 1989), one ACC tournament championship (1976), one NIT crown (1980) and nine NCAA tournament appearances. He earned ACC Coach of the Year honors in 1981 and 1982.

 

Holland was a standout player for Lefty Driesell at Davidson, where he led the nation in field goal percentage as a senior in 1963-64. Holland joined Driesell’s coaching staff after he graduated and took over head coaching duties in 1969.

 

Holland served five seasons as head coach at Davidson before accepting the head coaching job at Virginia in 1974. He turned around the UVA program and won the school’s first ACC tournament championship in 1976.

 

He took the Cavaliers to an elite level with the arrival of future stars Wally Walker, Jeff Lamp, Bryant Stith, and most famously, 7-4 Ralph Sampson, the national Player of the Year in 1981,’82 and ’83. The Cavaliers posted a 112-25 mark and earned its first Final Four berth during the Sampson era from 1979-83.

 

The year after Sampson graduated, Holland led the Cavaliers back to the Final Four in 1984, losing to Houston and Hakeem Olajuwon in the semifinals. In his 21 seasons of coaching, Holland's teams compiled a record of 418-216, with a school-record 326 of those wins coming at Virginia. Holland's record was broken earlier this season by current UVA Dean and Markel Families Men’s Head Basketball Coach Tony Bennett.

 

After retiring from coaching in 1990, Holland returned to Davidson as athletic director. He later became the athletics director at Virginia for seven seasons from 1994 to 2001 and then at East Carolina for 10 more years.

 

The Clinton, N.C., native is survived by his wife, Ann, daughters Ann-Michael Holland and Kate Baynard, and three grandchildren.

 

 

virginia's defense smothers clemson, offense makes plays to win 64-57

As the Calendar nears March, the games becoming more important.  Tournament season also affectionately known as March Madness brings out the best and worst in teams.

 

The University of Virginia is a team who knows they are going to play postseason basketball howeve the 13th-ranked Cavaliers have struggled in the last two weeks.  Consecutive losses on the road at Boston College and North Carolina.  

 

The Clemson Tigers were also looking to gain momentum going into the end of the season with tournaments on the horizon.  As the Tigers and Cavaliers stood tied for third in ACC at 13-5, a win would be crucial for seeding and keep alive hopes of sharing the ACC regular season crown.  Clemson was coming off a blow out win at NC State and seems to be gaining confidence as they headed north to Virginia.

 

With this being the only head-to-head matchup, the victor would have a much needed boost towards March.

 

The first half was a very familiar and slow start for the Hoos.  The Tigers were ready for a fight and broke out the offense with a quick 5-0 lead in the first two minutes.  The Cavaliers looked stunned and playing in molasses until a quick spark turned it around.  Ryan Dunn, entered the game at the 15 minute mark.  His impact was like a bolt of lightning, firing up the team and the crowd.  His first basket was an acrobatic layup that started a 17-2 run for the Cavaliers over a five minute span grabbing a 17-7 lead and putting Clemson on notice.

 

As the remainder of the half continued, both teams struggled offensively but Virginia was able to hang on to a 28-23 lead at the half.  

 

To say shooting was anemic is very accurate. Both teams shot in the 30 percentile from the field and each made 3-12 from behind the three-point arc.  Ryan Dunn led the Cavs with eight points followed by Armaan Franklin with 7.  The dynamic duo of Hunter Tyson and PJ Hall combined for seven each to pace the Tigers.

 

T With the win, Virginia improves to 22-6 on the year and 14-5 in the ACC locking up at least the third seed for ACC tourney.  The loss for Clemson, now 21-9 and 13-6 in ACC, moves them into a tie at the coveted 4-seed which guarantees a double bye for next week in Greensboro.  

 

Highlights:

Virginia had four players in double figures:

3 tying for high scorer with 12 - Jayden Gardner, Armaan Franklin and Issac McNeely.  Gardner had team high nine rebounds.

 

Clemson had scored over 70 points in 6 straight games, averaging almost 76 points per game in ACC play finished with 57. Hall scored 19 while Tyson had 17.

 

Virginia had eight turnovers which was below season average of 8.7

 

The Cavaliers outrebounded the Tigers 40 to 32 but Clemson shot nearly 42% and made two more 3pt shots (7 v 5) than Virginia. 

 

EMSPORTS.org 2/28/2023

 

virginia escapes the upset with a razor thin win over the figthing irish of notre dame, 57-55. 

The ACC is not for the weary in spirit.  The fans of UVa know that all too well as they have seen Virginia struggle to put teams away as they maintain a grip on 1st place in the standings.

 

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish entered JPJ at 2-13 in the ACC but they are as good a two-win conference team you will find.

 

They stood true again today as they had a chance to pull a huge upset at #8 Virginia’s house.  Coach Mike Bret has made it known he will not be ND’s Coach next year, so they were playing inspired for him.

 

Virginia wanted to play better after a hard fought win at lowly Louisville.  The Cavaliers and Irish traded baskets early on but the made shots were few and far between.  After a brief ND 5-4 lead, the Cavs found a rhythm and methodically state red to separate themselves from Irish.  

 

All looked well as Virginia took a 24-15 lead after a Ben Vander Plas layup at the 4:28 mark.  However, Notre Dame would not go away quietly.  The Irish finished with a spurt, out scoring Virginia 10-5 gaining momentum entering the halftime trailing 29-25.

 

The Irish took the initiative to not be comfortable and grabbed a 6-0 run and take a 31-29 lead and raise the anxiety for the Virginia crowd hoping for an easier win than in the past three games. From that moment in, it was a see-saw affair for the next seven minutes.  Neither team could escape the other until a Reece Beekman three-pointer gave Virginia a little breathing room at 45-40 with less than 12 minutes remaining.

 

It looked like Virginia could hold a lead and avoid late game dramatics but the Cardiac Cavs showed up.

 

With a five point lead at 55-50 with about 3 and one-half minutes left, the Cavaliers failed to score another field goal.  In that long scoring drought, the defense would bend and not break.  Kihei Clark converted two free throws but Notre Dame had one last chance to win.

 

Trey Wentz was fouled with less than four seconds left.  He made the first and after a timeout missed the second.  In a scramble, ND recovered the rebound and Dane Goodwin spotted up for a game winning three-pointer. As the pass went to Goodwin, all the Virginia faithful could do was hang on with their collective hearts in their throats and hope for a miss.  The wish was granted as the shot went clanging off the rim and Virginia escaped with a 57-55 victory.  The win boosts the Hoos 21-4 overall and 12-3 in the ACC.  The tough loss makes ND 10-17 overall with a 2-14 ACC mark.

 

In the victory, history was made as Kihei Clark became the school’s all-time assist leader passing the great John Crotty.  

 

The Cavaliers outrebounded the Irish, 35-30 and committed less turnovers: 6 to the Irish’s 8.  Both teams were nearly identical in shooting, as ND shot 39% to 36% for Virginia.  Virginia was slightly better from the 3pt arc at 29% to the 26% of Notre Dame. The Irish have never won in Charlottesville.

 

The Irish leading scorers:

Nate Laszewski - 18, Dane Goodwin - 12, Marcus Hammond - 10

 

Virginia’s leading scorers: 

Kihei Clark - 15, Armaan Franklin - 12, Reece Beekman - 11

 

EMSPORTS.org 2/18/23

virginia's defense too tough, the cavaliers pull away 63-50 over nc state 

The 8th ranked Virginia Cavaliers were looking to rebound following a tough loss at the Hokie house of Blacksburg. The Hoos saw their seven- game win streak end with a Virginia Tech victory. The could only mope for a couple of days because a return to JPJ meant another challenge. This time the red-hot NC St Wolfpack was visiting. 

 
The 22nd ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack finally cracked into the Top 25 this season after winning 8 of its last 9 contests including home wins against Duke and Miami and road wins against VT and Wake Forest. The Wolfpack have won four in a row and lead the ACC in conference scoring at almost 79 points a game. The Cavaliers knew how protecting your home court was essential to maintaining a top spot in the ACC. The Wolfpack were a half game behind the Hoos in the standings. 
 
The game began as a slow dance. Each team taking little steps trying to get into a rhythm. The Cavaliers finally took control with smothering defense and timely shooting to stretch a one- point lead into a solid advantage of 34-20 at the half. The Cavs went on a 26-13 run over the Wolfpack after the first TV timeout. The re-emergence of Kadin Shedrick was a breath of fresh air. The center was rarely seen but he made a huge impact in the first half registering five points, four rebounds and a block. His energy and presence in the paint helped neutralize the NC St front court, who scored only four points total. 
 
The ACC’s leading scorer at 18.5 points a game, Terquavion Smith led his NC St squad with nine points, nearly half of the team’s 20.The Cavs got balanced scoring with seven of the eight players scoring led by 12 from Jayden Gardner. The Packline defense restricted the Wolfpack to under 26% field goal shooting and a paltry 2 of 12 from behind the 3pt arc. Conversely, the Cavaliers shot well at 52% from the field and converted 7 of their 9 free throws. 
 
A familiar face returned to JPJ albeit as an opponent. Casey Morsell, a former Virginia Cavalier, donned the red and white of NC St as he returned for the first time since transferring away from Charlottesville two years prior. Morsell is a dynamite perimeter shooting guard who is second in 3pt percentage in the league.
 
Where Smith is the star, Morsell has been a very complimentary wingman. He finished with 18 points, strengthened by his 4 for 6 from downtown (11 points in second half). Several of his baskets kept NC St within striking distance but Virginia was able to grind the visitors down and secure the 63-50 win.  The win places Virginia at 10-3 (18-4 overall) in ACC play tied with Clemson and Pittsburgh for the top seed in ACC.  The loss drops NC St to back into a 9-5 conference record and 19-6 overall. Stars: Virginia -Gardner 18 points, 5 rebounds, 6-6 FTs; Reece Beekman 15 points, four assists, 3 steals; Kadin Shedrick 10 points, 6 rebounds and 1 block off the bench
 
NC State-Terquavion Smith 19 points and four assists; Casey Morsell 18 points, 4-6 from 3ptVirginia shot nearly 45% but only 2 of 8 from 3pt line. They made nearly 80% at free throw line. The Wolfpack shot 33.3% from field and less than 30% from the 3pt area. They also made only 4 out of 7 free throws.
 
EMSPORTS.org 2/7/2023

virginia wins fourth game in a row, defeats virginia tech at home by score of 78-68

The first round of the Commonwealth Clash took place at JPJ as the 10th-ranked Virginia Cavaliers hosted their neighbors from the western part of the state, the Virginia Tech Hokies. 

 

The Hokies were excited to get leading scorer, Hunter Cattoor, back after a four game absence as a result of an elbow injury.  The Cavaliers knew his return could be a catalyst for a team desperate for a much needed win.  

 

The home team came out of the gate quick.  The Cavs scored first only to see VT tie it up at 2-2 in the first two minutes of the game.  Virginia answered back with a 9-0 run to take a 11-2 lead and maintained that margin until the Hokies turned the tables.  

 

Virginia experienced one of their common scoring drought.  This version lasted about five minutes.  In that span, Virginia Tech took a 21-19 lead as they streaked on an 11-0 run.  As it seemed VT had taken control, the Cavaliers answered the call.  In the next seven and a half minutes, UVa began the making shots and they didn’t stop until the halftime buzzer.  

 

The Cavs took a 40-31 lead on an emphatic slam dunk to end the half by Reece Beekman.  This capped a 14-5 run to break a 26-26 tie. 

 

The Cavaliers could never pull completely away from the Hokies until late in the game.  After halftime, Virginia was able to push the lead to as high as 14 (74-60), however a few tense moments saw the Hokies cut the lead to two but never grab the lead again.

 

Uva shot 51% from the floor.  They grabbed 30 rebounds compared to 27 for the Hokies.  Virginia Tech shot 12 of 27 from behind the 3-point area and had 8 turnovers whereas the Cavaliers were 8 for 23 from distance and just five turnovers.  Virginia Tech shot over 49% but only attempted and made both of their free throws.  Conversely, the Hoos were 12 of 13 from the charity stripe. 

 

The win is Virginia’s fourth straight, all ACC victories, and boosts the record to 14-3 overall and 6-2 in conference.  The Hokies extended their losing streak to six games.  They fall to 1-6 in ACC and 11-7 for the season. 

 

Beekman had an all-around game with He 11 points, seven assists and three rebounds.  His starting backcourt mate Kihei Clark scored 20 points to lead all scorers.  He contributed five assists with one turnover. Armaan Franklin tallied 15 points while Jayden Gardner chipped in 12 and Ben Vander Plas supplied 10 points and 7 rebounds to take high honors for the game.

 

The Hokies also had all five starters in double digits.  Darius Maddox was the highest scorer with 13. Both Justyn Mutts (10 points) and Cattoor (11 points) both grabbed a team high six rebounds.

 

EMSPORTS.org 1/18/2023

virginia beats unc for eighth straight win at jpj, with a 65-58 victory 

In the battle of ACC teams, very few battles are more historic than Virginia vs North Carolina. The Hoos and Heels have storied history of battles both in-season and during ACC Tournament time.  The original members of the ACC never disappoint.  

 

In this 2023 edition, the 13th-ranked Cavaliers welcome a hot UNC team with six wins in their last seven games.  The Tar Heels had not beaten the Cavaliers in their last 7 trips to JPJ. 

 

The Tar Heels are always an exciting, aggressive, fast-paced offense with firepower from all points on the floor.  The Cavaliers are the anti-UNC with a slow, patient, methodical presence and in your face defense.  The question is which style would win out. 

 

Carolina has enjoyed a recent two-game streak by sweeping the Cavs in both games last year however, a different year means all of 2022 is left behind.  Virginia has not lost to UNC at JPJ since 2012 and looked to move up the ACC standings with a big win.

 

Armando Bacot, a preseason All-ACC candidate for Player of the Year, was going to be a marked man.  He was leading the league in scoring and rebounding but he didn’t get much playing time.  Bacot suffered an ankle injury and Virginia took a quick 10-3 lead as Carolina didn’t score for the first five minutes of the game.

Enter Jalen Washington, a five star recruit seas called into action and he performed.  Washington was the catalyst of a 21-5 run to give UNC their largest lead at 24-15 with about 3 and a half minutes left before halftime.  He scored 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.  His play helped them maintain a 29-27 lead at the half.  Virginia finished the last few minutes with a respectable 9-3 run.  The Cavs turned Carolina over five times but shot under 35% from the field.  Carolina shot over 40% from the field and held a rebounding advantage of nearly 2 to 1.

 

The Tar Heels continued a solid effort in the second half and pushed the lead back to 36-29 on RJ Davis jumper.  Davis led all Carolina scorers with 16 points. Virginia turned to their new faces to jumpstart the offense.  Issac McKneely and Ben Vander Plas didn’t start but they finished with force.

The combination scored 22 of UVA’s 38 points in the second half (Vander Plas 14, McKneely 8).  Vander Plas made a jumper to start a run that he finished with a three pointer to give Virginia a 42-40 lead with under 13 minutes to play.  The Cavaliers’ hot shooting created a 23-6 Cavalanche that would push the lead to 10 (52-42). The Cavaliers would not falter.  Carolina got as close as 56-52, and Virginia withstood three Caleb Love three pointers late in the game to secure a 65-58 home victory.

 

Caleb Love and Washington each scored 13 points and Carolina fell under 40% for the game and made 8 of their 24 three point attempts.  The Hoos shot over 46% from the field (over 50% in second half).  The Tar Heels outrebounded their rivals at 36-32 but also committed more turnovers with 13 compared to UVA’s 8.     Three other Hoos scored in double digits with Reece Beekman at 13, Armaan Franklin’s 12 and McKneely finished with 11.

 

Virginia’s win gives them a 4-2 ACC record and makes them 12-3 on the year.  They next travel to Florida State on Saturday.  UNC, 3-3 in ACC and 11-6 overall, will look to get healthy and regroup as they head to Louisville for a Saturday afternoon showroom. 

 

EMSPORTS 1/10/2023

virginia's outside shooting smothers syracuse in 73-66 win

The 11th ranked Virginia Cavaliers returned to Charlottesville looking to get back in the win column.  The Cavaliers played well for a half before losing a close contest against the Pittsburgh Panthers on the road.  The Hoos were ready to battle the Syracuse Orange.  

 

The ‘Cuse entered the matchup on a two-game winning streak and felt good as they entered John Paul Jones Arena.  The famous 2-3 zone was ready to challenge the vaunted Packline Defense to see which team would reign supreme.

 

The first half was very productive for the Cavaliers.  The shooting was efficient and points were plentiful.  The defense was just as effective and the Hoos maintained a solid double digit lead for a majority off the half and took a 35-26 lead into the locker room. 

 

 Virginia jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead on Armaan Franklin’s opening three-pointer and never lost the lead it got as high as 35-20 before Syracuse finished with a 6-0 run.  

 

The Cavaliers limited the shooting of the Orange to under 40% from the field and only 2 of 5 from 3pt line.  The Cavaliers were much better shooting over 53% from the field and a scorching 7 of 13 from beyond the three-point arc.  The leading scorers were guards Armaan Franklin and Issac McNeeley with nine points each.  Judah Mintz and Maliq Brown were leading scores at six apiece for Syracuse.

 

The second half started even better as the Cavaliers stay hot and seemed ready to crush the Orange.  The Cavaliers took a commanding 22-point lead at 57-35 with a little under 12 minutes left.  Then a lid was put over their basket.   Over the next nearly nine minutes, Syracuse took the momentum and the Cavaliers offense went mute.  Virginia scored a measly four points on free throws while Syracuse chipped the lead to 61-50.  The teams traded three point shots but Syracuse added consecutive threes by Joseph Giraud III to give the Orange hope and raise the nerves of the JPJ crowd.  The score was 64-56 but Virginia settled down and they eventually held on 73-66.  The victory was not just a win for the Cavaliers but it also marked the 327th victory for Coach Tony Bennett to break the program record he had shared with legendary former coach, Terry Holland.

 

Giraud led all scorers at 19 points followed by 18 from Mintz and 10 from Brown.  Virginia had five in double figures as Franklin scored 16, Reece Beekman’s 13, McNeeley had 12, Kadin Shedrick scored 11 and 10 by Jaylen Gardner.  

 

Both teams shot very well, nearly 44% from the floor and ‘Cuse shot 57% from the three while Virginia cooled to a very respectable 46%. Kihei Clark provided 11 assists of the team’s 23 made field goals. 

 

The win improves Virginia to 11-3 and 3-2 in the ACC.  Syracuse falls to 10-6 overall and is tied at with Virginia at 3-2 in conference. 



EMSPORTS.org 1/7/2023

Strong second half propels uva to 66-46 win over the albany great danes

The Virginia Cavaliers have been look big forward to re-energizing.  After two consecutive losses to two ranked teams, the 13th ranked Cavs looked to rebound with a win over the Albany Danes.  The rejuvenated Cavs are eight days removed from a tough loss at the University of Miami.

 

The Great Danes (5-9) are looking at this game as an opportunity to shock the world. An upset of one of the ACCs best teams would be a great boost to a team who has seen more losses than wins on the season.

 

The Hoos changed things up with 1st year Issac McKneely replacing an injured Reece Beekman and grad transfer Ben Vander Plas entering the starting lineup at center.  

 

The changes seem to work initially as the team took a 12-9 lead halfway thru the first half. 

 

The Danes made some changes as well and after a timeout they turned up their offense.  Aside from an and-1 by McKneely, Albany did all the scoring in a 10-3 run and took a 19-15 lead with UVa looking a step slow. 

 

The Cavaliers and Danes were tied at 24 when Virginia started to pull away before the halftime.  A 9-0 run spearheaded by two spectacular defensive plays from Kihei Clark brought the crowd to their feet as Virginia took a 33-24 lead into the locker room.  Clark made two tremendous steals on consecutive plays at halfcourt that led to uncontested lay-ups.  The momentum swung heavily in favor of the Cavs and they never trailed again.

 

The Cavs shot over 45% from the floor and made their first six free throws.  They also were protective of the ball with only three turnovers.  The Great Danes were in fire making nine of their first 15 shots.  However, they hit a dry spell and missed their last eight shots from the field.  They were guilty of seven turnovers and made three of four from the free throw line. Clark and Armaan Franklin led the way with 10 points each.  Da’Kquan Davis was Albany’s leading scorer with eight points.  

 

Virginia continued to exert their willpower and the defense kept the Dames scoreless for nearly four minutes into the second half.  During this time, the Hoos shooting improved and by the time Albany could blink, they were down 43-26.

 

Virginia did not let up in the defense and substituted freely throughout the second half.  The Cavs made baskets from everywhere on the court while Albany must have felt the rim was closed shut.  Virginia held a 60-32 lead with nearly 4 1/2 minutes left in the contest.  They continued to shot nearly 50% in the half while Albany was meagerly shooting slightly above 27%.  

 

Albany showed some life in the last four minutes but it was cosmetic as the Cavaliers won comfortably 66-46.

 

The Great Danes were led by Davis who scored 11 points and was the only player in double figures.  The team committed 10 turnovers and shot approximately 31% from the field including six three-pointers.

 

Armaan Franklin and Jayden Gardner were a formidable 1-2 punch combining for 36 points.  Franklin’s 20 led all scorers.  Clark handed out as many assists individually (nine) as Albany did as a team.  The Cavaliers made eight turnovers but shot over 48% from the field (52% in second half).  The 27-8 run (Cavalanche) after halftime put the visitors in a hole they could not get out of in the second half. 

 

With the win, Virginia (9-2) closes out their out of conference schedule and turns their attention on the ACC with a date on Saturday, December 31st at Georgia Tech.  Albany (5-10) prepares for a home encounter with New Hampshire on Saturday.  

 
EMSPORTS.org 12/28/2022

houston outshoots virginia in an impressive 69-61 win in charlottesville

The game is here.  The day has arrived and what a big game for both teams.  The #5 Houston Cougars made the trip to Charlottesville looking to defeat the #2 Virginia Cavaliers for a second year in a row.

 

The Cavaliers were no stranger to big games.  This game has extra special meaning.  This is the first matchup between two top five teams where Virginia was not hosting an ACC school.  This out of conference contest was arguably the most anticipated game in John Paul Jones Arena since it opened in 2006.  

 

The Cavaliers have not forgotten about the 67-47 loss they suffered at the hands of the Cougars in Houston last year.  Many see this game as a potential NCAA Final Four matchup.  

 

Houston boasts once of the best backcourts in the nation and their defense is ranked #1, allowing under 50 points a game. The Cavaliers have been dynamic in limiting the field goal shooting of their opponents and the stingy packline defense is still a staple of Tony Bennett’s team this year permitting only 57 points a game themselves. 

 

Virginia began the game on fire scoring the first nine points in over four minutes but Houston responded with a 7-0 streak to make it a 9-7 game with about 14 minutes in the first half. 

 

Virginia maintained a lead until leading scorer for Houston, Marcus Sasser (16.2 ppg) got cooking.  Sasser made two consecutive threes to give the Cougars a 21-17 lead and then he capped the Cougars 10-2 run with another three-pointer to bring the lead to 26-19 with just under four minutes in the first half.  The Cavaliers were experiencing one of those dreaded scoring droughts and Houston was taking advantage. 

 

Cavs and Cougs were trading punches and by halftime, Houston was holding a 30-26 lead.  The slow start by Houston did not slow the down.  They finished the half shooting over 48% and committing only three turnovers.  Sasser and J’wan Roberts led the scoring at nine and eight points respectively.  The Cavaliers cooled off to 41%  shooting with seven turnovers.  Jayden Gardner led the team with six points and four rebounds. 

 

The second half started out with both teams trading baskets but methodically the Cougars started to pull away with suffocating defense and pinpoint shooting.  The Cavaliers could not answer the Cougars ability to score at all five positions and the energy in defense took away from their offensive efficiency.  Houston built an 11-point lead, 48-37, in over the first ten minutes of the second half.  

 

Virginia was resilient and closed the gap to 61-53 with under a minute left but could never get the clutch basket to get any closer.

 

The Cougars showed why they had been #1 for a majority of the season and they proved they would be a team to reckon with in March.  The 69-61 victory on the home court of the number 2 team in the country proved how impressive Houston performed. 

 

The Cougars had all five starters in double figures and shot 49% from the field while making 8 of 21 shots from behind the three-point line.  Virginia was just a notch below shooting 42% and making 6 of 22 from 3pt land.

 

The win boosts Houston to 11-1 while Virginia (8-1) suffered their first lost in the season after eight straight victories.  

 

The stars included five-star phenom freshman, Jarace Walker.  He scored a game high 17 points while collecting 7 rebounds and dishing four assists.  The hometown Hoos got stellar play from starting center, Kadin Shedrick, who made all but 1 of his shots to score 16 points with three rebounds. 

 

EMSPORTS.org 12/17/2022

 

Clark, Gardner lead Virginia to a close win over the JMU Dukes, 55-50

It was nearly a year ago that JMU pulled off one of the biggest upsets in their colorful basketball history.  The Dukes took down the mighty Virginia Cavaliers in their new arena, the Atlantic Bank Union Arena. This game was postponed a year due to Covid complications but the win was well worth the wait for the Harrisonburg faithful who had been anxious to prove the Cavaliers were just another team.

 

When you fast forward a year later, the scenario may have more national attention but the same in-state intensity.  The number 3 ranked Cavaliers are undefeated at 7-0 and the Dukes (7-2) bring the highest scoring team in Division I, averaging over 93 points a game.  With a power like the Packline defense primed to slow down this high octane scoring outfit of JMU’s, something had to give. 

 

In the history of Tony Bennett’s teams, the one constant characteristic is their identity is defined by defense.  The gritty, back and forth battle with upset minded James Madison University, was another example that Virginia finds a way to win and defense is the DNA of the program.

 

With Reece Beekman’s leg injury, the Wahoos unexpectedly had to play without their best all-around player after just four minutes into the game but the remaining players picked up the slack to produce a closer than expect victory.  

 

The game was a battle of wills and perseverance.  

 

Virginia and their methodical pace, controlled and limited the high scoring Dukes.  Even though both offenses struggled, Virginia was able to find some separation by taking an 11-point lead in the first half at 27-16, but JMU closed the last 96 seconds of the half with the final four points. Virginia was able to take a 27-20 at halftime. It was the lowest output in a half by JMU all year.  The Dukes dominated the boards at 24-14 advantage but were lacking with zero attempts from free throw line.

 

The second half was expected to produce more points and even more drama.  It did not fail.  The Cavs and Dukes literally traded baskets for the first 11 minutes of the second half.  Kihei Clark scored the first nine points for Virginia after halftime.  The squad from Harrisonburg took the role of aggressor and it paid off as they went to the line for 18 shots (13 makes), all in the second half.  

 

Takal Molson (20 points), JMU’s leading scorer, kept JMU in the game all night and his three tied the score at 42 with a little under eight minutes left.  It was the only the second time all night which JMU was not behind, including a brief one point lead early in the contest. 

 

There was an uneasy feeling among the JPJ faithful that JMU was ready to record another upset.  This game was indicative of how a close contest demonstrates where UVA thrives and their experience shown brightly.  

 

The inside-outside combination of Jayden Gardner and Kihei Clark proved to give the Hoos the advantage but a newcomer made an important contribution as well.

 

Clark and Gardner combined for 22 of the Cavs’ 28 second half points.  Gardner pulled down 8 boards while Clark dishes out 7 assists.  First year Ryan Dunn finally gave the home crowd a chance to exhale.  He scored on an acrobatic drive with about 36 second removing to push the lead to 54-50.  He then was tasked with trying to shut down Molson, who scored 18 of his team’s 30 points after halftime.  The mission was accomplished when Dunn forced Molson into a turnover sealing the win in a heart stopping battle.

 

The stats tell the story.  Virginia seemed to have most of the control but couldn’t comfortably pull away with abysmal shooting from free throw line at a clip of 12 for 24.  Overall shooting was slightly better as they made 42% from the floor but 23% from behind the 3pt arc.  In comparison, the Dukes made 27.3% shooting from the floor and 30.4% from three.  They were shooting 52.7% for the year until this game.  Vado Morse scored 11 points as the only other JMU player in double figures.

 

Virginia improves to 8-0 with the win and awaits a home contest with the nation’s #1 team in the Houston Cougars at JPJ on Dec. 17th.  The Dukes (7-3) will have another chance to win game number eight as they prepare for Gallaudet University on Saturday at Atlantic Bank Union Arena in Harrisonburg. 

 

EMSPORTS 12/6/2022

Brennan armstrong enters the transfer portal, leaves UVA with alltime records

Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong entered the transfer portal on Thursday, The Daily Progress confirmed.

The Athletic and On3 first reported the news.

The transfer portal is an online database for student-athletes who have declared their desire to transfer from their current school. Once a student-athlete is in the transfer portal database, coaches from other schools can contact them and inquire about their interest in joining their program.

Armstrong qualifies as a graduate transfer, and grad transfers do not have to wait for the newly implemented transfer window to enter the portal. The first window opens on Monday and runs through Jan. 18. A second window is slated for the spring, but grad transfers can put their name in at any time.

Armstrong is UVa’s all-time leader for passing yards, total offense, passing touchdowns, 200-yard passing games and 300-yard passing games. He holds the Cavaliers’ single-season records for passing yards, total offense and passing touchdowns, too, which were all set in 2021 when he thrived in the air raid system the Hoos used under former offensive coordinator Robert Anae and ex-quarterbacks coach Jason Beck.

-The Daily Progress 12/01/2022

virginia stays perfect on the sason  beats florida state, 62-57, in acc opener

The Virginia Cavaliers (6-0) are home again to face the Florida State Seminoles.  This is the first ACC game for both teams.  The Cavs are returning from a physical battle on the campus of the University of Michigan.  In the ACC-BIGTEN Challenge, the #3 team in the nation earned a tremendous win against the Wolverines.

 

The Seminoles have struggled this year with injuries and poor shooting.  FSU lost a close contest at home versus the #5 Purdue Boilermakers and dropped to 1-8 on the season.

 

Both teams are looking to get off to a solid start in conference play.  The offenses struggled with shooting with each both teams struggling to shoot 25% from the field and even less from behind the three-point arc.

 

The poor shooting was a result of great defense and made the way for rebounds and turnovers. Each team recorded 21 rebounds and UVa committed six turnovers where FSU had five.  Darin Green led the Seminoles with seven points while Armaan Franklin had six points to lead the Hoos. The Seminoles were able to cling to a 22-21 lead at the intermission.

 

The Cavaliers made a concerted effort to force the Seminole defense to break and they did so with solid shooting around the basket.  The Cavaliers looked to improve their offense so they attacked the rim.   The Cavaliers scored more points (22) in the first nine minutes of the second half than they did in all the first half (21).  They outscored FSU by 13 during that stretch to build a 43-31 lead.

 

The Seminoles did not go down quietly and slowly clawed back into the game by making some threes and getting UVA to turn the ball over more than normal.  Even though Virginia held a 10 point advantage (55-45) with 1:19 left in the clock, FSU was able to cut the lead to three at 60-57 with seven seconds remaining.  However, Reece Beekman sealed the victory with two final free throws and Virginia stayed perfect at 7-0 on the season winning 62-57.  The win for the Cavaliers (7-0) is their 15th consecutive victory in an ACC opening game. 

 

The game’s best player was PG Kihei Clark.  He finished with 18 points and added three rebounds and three assists.  Jayden Gardner provided 10 points. 

 

Florida St was led by Green’s 17 points and 11 points from Matthew Cleveland.

 

EMSPORTS 12/03/2022

 

 

Virginia Improves to 8-0 with 22-Point Victory Against ECU

11/27/22

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (8-0, 1-0 ACC) closed out the 2022 Cavalier Classic Tournament with a 72-50 victory against East Carolina (5-2, 0-0 AAC) on Sunday (Nov. 27) at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.

 

Virginia held a six-point lead at halftime and went on a 17-3 run to open the third quarter to build a 20-point advantage. They led by as many as 27 points in the fourth quarter.

 

The Cavaliers had four players finish in double figures led by a 15-point performance from Sam Brunelle. Mir McLean had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Kaydan Lawson scored 11 points with McKenna Dale coming off the bench to score 10. Danae McNeal led the Pirates with 14 points.

 

This is the first 8-0 start to a season for Virginia since 1992.

 

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

 

Lawson was an early spark for the Cavaliers, scoring five points in the first four minutes of the game, but it was a 6-0 run that gave UVA its first significant lead, a 14-7 advantage on a Camryn Taylor layup with 1:47 remaining in the first quarter. ECU made two layups in the final 50 seconds of the quarter to make it a 14-11 game heading into the second period.

 

A three-pointer from Cady Pauley gave UVA a 17-11 lead early in the second, but the Pirates cut the deficit to two points with 7:22 remaining in the half. The Cavaliers scored seven points in a 48-second span. Taylor Valladay had an and-one, but missed the free throw. She grabbed her own rebound and then dished the ball to Dale, who hit a three-pointer. Brunelle added a layup to give UVA a 28-17 lead with 3:43 remaining. Dale’s second trey of the quarter gave UVA a 31-21 lead with 1:08 remaining, but ECU scored the final four points of the half to trail 31-25 at the break.

 

Virginia opened the second half on a 7-2 run, building back up a double-digit lead on a layup from McLean with 7:17 left in the quarter. Dale’s third three of the game gave the Cavaliers a 43-28 lead midway through the period. A free throw from London Clarkson with 3:40 remaining built UVA’s lead to 20 points.

 

The Cavaliers had a 53-32 lead at the start of the fourth period. UVA’s defense held the Pirates to 1-of-7 shooting to start the final period as the offense built up a 62-35 advantage, their largest lead of the game, with 5:12 remaining in the contest.

#5 virginia routs maryland-eastern shore, 72-45, to stay unbeaten 

The Virginia Cavaliers (4-0) returned home for their next game but in a less than common fashion relative to the last several seasons.  In years past, the Thanksgiving Holiday usually signals the Hoos are battling and winning an in-season tournament played at a lavish resort or somewhere outside of Virginia. 

 

This season the Cavs instead participated and won the Continental Tire Tournament hosted in Las Vegas a few days before Thanksgiving.  The Cavs were triumphant in the dynamic field of four with wins on #5 Baylor and #19 Illinois.  Those victories showcased the Hoos against some of the nation’s best teams and propelled them into the #5 ranking in the newest college basketball AP poll heading into the holiday week. 

 

The Cavaliers know they are becoming the hunted after those two impressive wins and will look to avoid a letdown when they host Maryland-Eastern Shore.  The Hawks enter the game with a 2-3 record after defeating Marist in their most recent contest.

 

Virginia started fast taking a 20-4 lead.  The Packline D was in full effect minimizing the UMES offense.  The Cavaliers shooting prowess took a dip following a much-needed timeout from MD-Eastern.

 

Following the timeout, the visitors got more in-sync and they began to execute whereas Virginia lost their touch.  A few turnovers and missed shots gave the Hawks confidence and then the shots began to fall.

 

The Cavs were on their heels as an 8-0 run put the score at 20-12 and momentum with the Hawks.  The Hoos shook off the challenge and went back into control by outscoring the Hawks 20-10 in the final eight minutes of the half.  The run resulted in a commanding 40-22 lead into the locker room.  Jayden Gardner paced the team with 18 points and Virginia got nine points from starting center Kadin Shedrick.

 

The Cavaliers kept the pressure up and the defense was even tighter.  The lead was pushed to 22 when the Hoos took a 60-38 lead and the substitutes saw more time than the starters.  

 

Gardner was the game’s high scorer with 26 and Shedrick added 13.  The Cavs committed only 10 turnovers and lit the nets on fire at nearly 53% from the floor. The defense limited the Hawks to less than 35% shooting and 15 turnovers.

 

Even with the changes in lineups, UVA had no problem scoring or forcing MD-Eastern to bad shots to maintain the advantage.  Eventually the Hoos were victorious with a 72-45 victory and stay unbeaten at 5-0.  

 

Senior guard Zion Styles was the only scorer in double figures.  He led the team with 11 points.  The Hawks fell to 2-4.

 

EMSPORTS 11/25/2022

pittsburgh panthers show no mercy defeating virginia 37-7

The Virginia Cavaliers return to the friendly confines of Scott Stadium with one goal in mind: get a win at home.  The Cavaliers have come close but fallen short in their last two home games losing both by two points and three points respectively.

 

The task would be tougher as the Pittsburgh Panthers, the reigning Coastal and ACC champions came to visit the Hoos at Scott Stadium.  The Panthers were victorious in a home contest holding the 20th ranked Syracuse Orange to only nine points.

 

The Panthers bring with them the lock-tight defense and pack a formidable weapon in the running game that is best in ACC lead by the ACC’s leading rusher, Israel Abanikanda.  The nation’s leader in rushing touchdowns at 16, Abanikanda has left many opposing defenses scratching their heads all year.

 

The game started in a dreadful and ominous manner. Brennan Armstrong threw two passes for interceptions on consecutive passes on consecutive possessions.  Each interception was returned as a pick 6 for the Panthers and they were gifted a 14-0 lead just 16 seconds into the game.

 

A dominant first quarter for Pitt produced 28 points, two sacks and two defensive touchdowns.  Virginia could only muster 1 first down and 15 total yards.

 

The second quarter was not very memorable as each team stayed scoreless while Pitt pounded the ball to control click, Virginia tried desperately to jump start a stagnant offense.

 

UVA’s best drive came on their last possession as they drive to the Pitt eight-yard line only to suffer their fourth sack of the half.  Will Bettridge’s 42-yard field goal attempt went wide left and the Panthers enjoyed a 28-0 lead at the half. 

 

Pittsburgh accumulated 199 yards while holding Virginia to 60 total yards.

 

The Cavaliers were very lackluster in their performance and it didn’t get much better in the second half.  The Virginia defense was able to hold the Panthers to only three second half field goals.  The offense had a bright spot on the day as Armstrong drove the Hoos into the redzone and connected on a nine-yard touchdown pass to Malachi Fields in the third quarter.

 

That was all the offense the Hoos could create while Pitt was able to dominated the time of possession and scoreboard.  

 

Kedon Slovis, Pittsburgh’s signal caller, was solid with his 14 for 24 passing with 208 yards with 1TD and no picks.  The rushing attack produced 189 yards as Abanikanda garnered 113 and scored a touchdown. The Panthers improved to 6-4 on the season.

 

Virginia (3-7) was held to -8 yards of rushing and only 152 yards passing from Armstrong.  The only turnovers were the first quarter interceptions.  Uva also surrendered eight sacks to the nearly unstoppable Pittsburgh defense.  Virginia, by contrast, recorded no sacks and saw their bowl hopes disappear. 

 

EMSPORTS 11/12/2022

 

virginia cavaliers fly past the monmouth hawks in a 87-42 victory

The 18th-ranked Virginia Cavaliers continued their opening season home stand with a tilt against the Monmouth Hawks.  The Cavaliers opened the season with a solid win against NC Central University and wanted to continue the trend.

 

The Hawks entered the game with a lost to Seton Hall and quickly had to get on the road to face a tough, defense-minded Cavalier team with something to prove.

 

The Cavaliers started slow and found themselves in an early hole when Monmouth scored first and kept a lead of 13-10 with over 6 and a half minutes played.  1st year (freshman) Issac McKneely had an answer and his shooting led the way for a Cavalanche that buried the Hawks in the first half.

 

McKneely, the sharp shooting guard from West Virginia, tied the game at 13-13, with a three pointer. That shot was the beginning of a personal 7-0 run by the shooting guard that brought UVA into the lead they would never relinquish.

 

From the 12-minute mark until the end of the half, the Hoos crisp ball movement and exceptional marksmanship provided the home crowd with plenty of cheers and screams.  The Cavaliers out scored the Hawks 28-7 and cruised into intermission with a 42-21 lead.  Virginia made well over 45% of shots from the field and nearly half of their 3pt attempts (7 out of 15).  The nine players for Virginia found their rhythm with eight different scorers.  The hot shooting removed any thoughts of Monmouth pulling off an upset while the Virginia defense was suffocating.

 

The second half was more of the same as Virginia played even better with precise shooting and more three pointers to make a late night and long night for the visitors from New Jersey.

 

The Cavaliers played 11 players with all scoring except Chase Coleman.  The Cavaliers finished the game shouting g nearly 56% from the floor and an astonishing 52% from behind the three-point arc.  Monmouth was not as efficient or as successful.  They shot under 40% for the game and barely 27% from long distance.  They also struggled from the free throw line converting just 7 of 15 shots. They were led by Myles Foster with 18 and Tahron Allen who had 11.

 

The Cavaliers defense forced 21 turnovers while only committing six themselves.  The Cavaliers had three members in double figures led by McKneely’s 15 points and fellow classmate Ryan Dunn’s 13 while Bennet Vander Plas chipped in 10.  The Hoos were 16/25 from the free throw line and outrebounded their foes by a count of 35-21.

 

Virginia (2-0) will continue their home schedule as they host Northern Iowa on next Monday night.  Monmouth (0-2) will look to secure their first win as they stay on the road and travel to the University of Illinois.

 

EMSPORTS 11/11/2022

virginia wins 2022-2023 season opener with 73-61 triumph over nc central

The 2022-2023 began on the Monday before Election Day and over 300 Division I teams had dreams and aspirations of kicking off a season where they hoped to be selected to the NCAA tourney with a chance of being the last team standing in April.

 

The University of Virginia Cavaliers are one of the programs that has captured a championship and knows the feeling of being the best in the country.

 

This Tony Bennett edition has many preseason pundits and experts claiming they are prepared to be a contender in the ACC.  The Cavaliers are looking to erase the memory of not making the NCAA tournament last season.  They began their journey with a home opener versus North Carolina Central University. 

 

The returning Cavs have their top 6 scorers and players with most minutes suiting up for this team.  The addition of graduate transfer Ben Vander Plas and a talented  class of first years provides an exciting outlook for a team looking to get back to the top of the ACC and make a deep run into March Madness. 

 

The new season began with some firepower as the Hoos knocked down 3 three-pointers to race to an early 9-4 lead in the first five minutes of the game with Reece Beekman hitting the first bucket of the year and Armaan Franklin swishing home consecutive threes.

 

The Cavaliers used their depth and sharpshooting to extend the lead to 26-15 at the 7:21 mark.  This stretch of good shooting and fierce defense saw 9 Cavaliers get playing time and the fist points from both 1st year Issac McNeely and grad transfer Ben Vander Plas.  Each knocked down a three-pointer for their first points of the year. 

 

The Eagles from NCCU were preseason ranked as one of the top teams in the MEAC Conference.  They showed their mettle after getting down by 16 (31-15) and staying persistent to the point that a late three pointer from leading scorer, Justin Wright, drew them closer as the halftime score was 38-30 Virginia.  Wright led all scorers with 16 points. 

 

Virginia was dominant at the free throw line shooting 14 of 16 aided by 13 team fouls from the visitors.  Virginia was the most efficient from behind the three-point arc making 6 of 12 shots.  The leading scorer was Armaan Franklin who poured in 13.  The Eagles stayed close by shooting making 4 three-pointers and their hustle generated 6 offensive rebounds.  These hustle plays created more chances to score and kept the ball out of Virginia’s hands.  

 

The Eagles came out as the aggressor and pushing the tempo.  The Cavaliers scored quick but then went into a scoring drought of two minutes and 10 seconds as the Eagles went on a 12-0 run that gave them an unexpected 44-43 lead with over 14 minutes left in the half.  

 

With their first true challenge, the Cavaliers responded with increase defensive pressure and timely shooting.

 

Over the next four minutes, Virginia regained control and used the strength of a 15-2 run to push the lead to 58-46 and they maintained the advantage for the rest of the game.  The starting backcourt combo of Beekman and Kihei Clark fueled the run that allowed Virginia to pull away from the Eagles. 

 

The vaunted Virginia packline defense was bruised by the athleticism of the NCCU Eagles yet the Cavaliers' plethora of offensive options provided plenty of excitement and points to overcome the challenge of the Eagles.  

 

With the first win of the year, the Cavaliers are headed in the right direction and looking to gain confidence and experience with these new players.  The Hoos will take a 1-0 record into their next matchup at home versus Monmouth.  NC Central travels to Appalachian State looking to even their season record.

 

Highlights:

- Virginia had four players in double figures led by 21 from Franklin.

 

- Cavaliers shot over 40% from the floor (43%) as well as the three-point line making 11 of 25.

 

- NC Central only had two players in double figures led by 20 from Wright (16 in first half).

 

- The Eagles also shot over 40% from the field and 3pt line (42% each) but were not as efficient behind the charity stripe where they made only 9 of 14.

 

EMSPORTS 11/7/22

unc holds off uva with a 31-28 win in  charlottesville 

 

The University of Virginia was looking to rebound from such a heartbreaking loss at home to the University of Miami.  The game was a battle of attrition the went four overtimes before UVA succumbed 14-12.  

 

The Hoos were looking to regroup and faced their long-time rival in the University of North Carolina.  The Tar Heels and Cavaliers were preparing for their 127th meeting of the “Battle of the South’s” oldest rivalry.  The Tar Heels came into the battle ranked 17th and undefeated in the ACC with a top spot in the Coastal.  Coach Mack Brown was looking for his first ever win in Charlottesville sporting an 0-6 record in his coaching past.

 

The game started out strong as the Cavaliers took the opening kickoff and scored on the legs of QB Brennan Armstrong.  The defense then slowed the high-powered Carolina offense down.  The Tar Heels got into the redzone but was limited to a field goal.


The Tar Heels and Cavs then traded possessions after an Armstrong interception the defense bowed up and kept the Tar Heels out of the endzone.  Carolina then took the lead with their last drive of the half when QB Drake Maye rushed into the endzone from five yards out.  Virginia was able to answer when Xavier Brown scored his first career TD with a three-yard rush.  The touchdown gave Virginia a 14-10 lead and gave them the advantage as the teams went into the half.  


The Hoos had outplayed their rivals and put pressure on the Carolina squad to answer the call.  Carolina was ready to play in the second half scoring on the first drive of the half with an impressive march down the field and capped by an Elijah Green TD run of 4 yards.  Virginia was able to answer and they made some connections with passes and rushes as a big pass play from Armstrong to TE Sackett Wood got the team to the edge of the endzone.  The Hoos punched in the score on the next play with Ronnie Walker crashing across the goalline with a 1-yd plunge. 

 
The UNC team was facing another deficit but unlike the first half, this time they answered with 14 consecutive points to take a 31-21 lead.  The Tar Heels leaned on Maye’s arm and the playmaking ability of WR Josh Downs who scored a 19-yard pass play.  That was followed by another touchdown pass from Maye to running back Elijah Green for 22 yards.  Green’s second TD of the day gave the Tar Heels a lead they would not relinquish.


To the Cavaliers credit, they made the game interesting by scoring their last touchdown of the game.  With under 4 minutes left, Armstrong used his legs again and made a battering ram play with a bullrush into the endzone, taking out two Tar Heels as he gave the Hoos a flicker of life.  The touchdown made the score 31-28.  The onside kick from the next kickoff was recovered by the Tar Heels and they effectively ran the clock out as Virginia was out of time outs.


The win pushes North Carolina to 8-1 on the year and 5-0 in the ACC with a huge matchup at Winston-Salem next week versus the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.  Virginia loses for the fourth straight time at home and has to forget this game as the prepare for another high noon game next week when they host the Pittsburgh Panthers.

 

Stats and Stars:
UNC with 455 total yards.
- Drake Maye, QB, 26/37, 293 yards, 2TDs passing, 1 TD rushing
-  Josh Downs, WR, 15 Rec, 166 yards, 1 TD receiving
- Elijah Green, RB, 22 carries for 91 yards, 1 TD rushing, 1 TD receiving

 

UVA with 418 total yards
- Brennan Armstrong, QB, 17/35, 1 INT, 232 yards, 2TDs rushing
- Sackett Wood, TE, 6 Rec, 94 yards
- Mike Hollins, RB, 16 carries for 75 yards

 

EMSPORTS 11/5/2022

in 4 overtimes, miami escapes uva in charlottesville with 14-12 victory 

The University of Virginia made waves last week with the road win at Georgia Tech.    The Cavaliers were looking to kick off a four-game home stand and improve their season standing as well as ACC positioning.

 

The Miami Hurricanes were visiting the friendly confines of Scott Stadium the home of David Harrison field.  The Hurricanes were reeling from a home loss at the hands of the Duke Blue Devils and also were without the services of star QB Tyler Van Dyke.

 

The Cavaliers and and Hurricanes battled to a defensive stalemate in the first quarter.  Miami had better field position but neither offense could find success in the scoreboard. A scoreless first quarter led to more of the defensive tug of war.  Both offenses continued to struggle with small gains of yards but no scoring threats. 

 

After punt after punt, Miami was able to put a drive together in the last two minutes and break the ice.  The Hurricanes put together a long pass play by QB Jake Garcia to setup the only score before halftime.  As the clock expired, FG kicker Andres Borregales booted a 37-yd field goal to stake the “U” to a 3-0 halftime advantage. 

 

The Virginia offense took the field after halftime and took good notes during intermission.  With a strong passing attack, Armstrong led the Hoos into the redzone in the strength of a 60 yard pass play to Lavel Davis.  The offense stalled but Will Bettridge  was true with a 24-TD field goal to tie the game at 3.

 

With all the defense owning the game, both offenses continued to struggle.  Virginia was more aggressive in the second half marking three trips into the redzone.  However, a failed fourth down pass from Armstrong to Grant Misch left points on the board.  The Hoos were able to score another field goal in the fourth quarter.  Leading 6-3, Virginia turned to their defense and nearly kept Miami off the board but a final drive resulted in another Miami field as time expired to tie the game at 6-6 with overtime the next step to decide a winner. 

 

Miami gained first possession and was unable to get much in overtime.  They settled for a 42-yd field goal to take a 9-6 lead. Virginia took a play from the Miami playbook and basically got very little in their possession.  Will Bettridge took the field and completed a 41-yd field goal to tie the game at 9. 

 

Virginia started the second possession and finished it the same way as the first.  The Hoos gained one yard however Will Bettridge was up to the task and with a little help from the left upright the Hoos took a 12-9 lead.  The Hurricanes where able to match the Cavaliers and after a 36 yard field the Hurricanes made it 12 apiece. 

 

As the teams entered the third overtime, the parameters and starting field position changed.  The offense would begin at the 3 yard line and must score with one play.  No field goals would be allowed at any time.  

 

Miami took the next possession and attempted a pass that was intercepted by safety Will Clary giving the Virginia offense optimism.  The possession began with a false start and a near completion from Armstrong to WR Dontayvion Wicks was as close but no points.  Virginia began on offense in next possession but was unable to convert another pass attempt from Armstrong to Wicks.

 

The Hurricanes made the Cavaliers pay and QB Garcia raced around the right end on a keeper and stretch out to touch the pylon just before going out of bounds.  The only scoring play to reach the endzone allowed the Hurricanes to sneak out of Charlottesville with a hard fought 14-12 victory in four overtimes.  

 

The Virginia defense was stingy only surrendering 272 total yards and collecting three sacks.  The Cavaliers gained 327 yards, suffered no turnovers but gave up five sacks and several missed opportunities with the ball three times inside the Miami five-yard line not including the third and fourth overtime possessions. Miami improves to 4-4 while Uva drops to 3-5.

 

EMSPORTS 10/29/22

 

louisville cardinals fly into charlottesville and dominate the virginia cavaliers, 34-17

The Virginia Cavaliers welcomed their alumni and family to the comfort of Scott Stadium on Homecomings’ Weekend for a sun-splashed fall day.  The high noon contest showcased two teams at 2-3 looking to gain traction and even their record for the midway point in the season. 

 

The Cavaliers were licking their wounds after a loss at Duke and knew that playing in front of the home crowd would provide a boost.  The visiting Cardinals had lost a heartbreaker last week and several key players including QB Malik Cunningham.

 

This was a must win for both teams.  Virginia struck first with a field goal following an interception in the opening drive by DB Anthony Johnson who plucked the errant Brock Doman pass to give the Hoos an early advantage.  The Cavaliers drive the field in their second possession capped by an impressive 40-yard touchdown pass from Brennan Armstrong to Dontayvion Wicks.  All was well in Hooville.

 

Then it turned from bad to worst.  With a few minutes in the first quarter, Virginia was driving the field again looking to take a lead that would make the Cards wish they had stayed at home.  However, Louisville forced a fumble in an Armstrong run as he got into the redzone.  The potential of a 13-0 or 17-0 lead had faded and it was all Louisville needed to take control of the game.  Louisville scored 20 consecutive points and all that was bleak became glorious.  Virginia had one more salvo and after another Armstrong touchdown, this time a rushing one, the Cavaliers were only down 20-17 and ready to grab momentum.  

 

With a punt, the Cards went back on defense looking at stopping the Cavaliers.  They responded as another errant pass from Armstrong, his second interception, was the last chance as Louisville took over and scored a backbreaking TD when Jawhar Jordan plowed in from the 1-yd line increasing the tally to a 27-17 lead.

 

Armstrong was more efficient with a 24-34 passing day, 313 yards and a TD pass. However, his two interceptions were critical.  Doman was as effective having a similar stat line with two touchdowns (1 pass/ 1 run) and two interceptions as well.

 

Virginia’s defense forces two turnovers but gave up 34 points (two weeks in a row allowing 30+ points) and 473 total yards.

 

Virginia (2-4) will have to wait before they can redeem themselves as they have a bye week and play at Ga Tech on Thursday, Oct. 20th.  Louisville (3-3) looks to have righted the ship and will face Pittsburgh at home after a bye week on Oct. 22nd. 

 

EMSPORTS 10/8/2022

Brendan farrell kicks the cavaliers to a nailbiting 16-14 win over instate for the old dominion monarchs

photo by @uvafootball

The Virginia Cavaliers returned home with hope and renewed energy to get back in the win column.  The Cavaliers were flat and overwhelmed at Illinois in their previous contest and they knew a trip back to Scott Stadium was a welcomed invitation.

 

The ODU Monarchs also lost last week on the road at ECU.  The Monarchs also sported a 1-1 record after taking down instate for Virginia Tech in the season opener. ODU was no stranger to pulling an upset but had not accomplished this feat on the enemy’s turf. 

 

The game would be a statement game for both teams and a chance to claim state bragging rights.  

 

The first quarter was a slow start with both teams trying to sense the weak spots of the defense.  Virginia was able to break through and score on a Mike Hollins 1-yd TD plunge.

 

Virginia’s defense continued to make plays and turn the Monarchs away.  A stalled Virginia possession led to a punt that hit an an ODU coverage player.  The fumble gave Virginia the ball in ODU territory.  The ensuing drive produced three points with a field goal.

 

The 10-0 advantage looked to be good enough to go into the half but ODU took over with less than two minutes left and on 3rd and 15 QB Hayden Wolff found WR Ali Jennings for the 29 yard passing score to breathe life into the visitors from Norfolk.  

 

The third quarter was a battle of wills as each team traded punts with one exception.  Virginia was driving with what looked to be a positive drive at the ODU 7-yd line.  However, disaster struck when on second down, the Monarch’s sacked Brennan Armstrong and his subsequent fumble was recovered by ODU.  The results of another missed opportunity for the Cavaliers kept the game unchanged at 10-7.

 

Three turnovers by UVa with two inside the the redzone.  The Cavaliers made some progress in the first drive of the forgery quarter.  The defense made an impact and in third and long, a key sack by Virginia’s Aaron Faumui forced a turnover on downs.  After another Monarch punt, the Hoos drove the ball into the redzone with another successfully drive and the rushing attack propelled the ball to the 13-yd line.  The potential game changing drive was once again hampered by penalties and dropped passes.  Brendan Farrell salvaged the drive with a 30-yd field goal.  

 

As with the previous drive, the defense made an impact and in third and long, a key sack by Virginia’s Chico Bennett, Jr. forced a turnover on downs.  The Hoos made a solid drive to only see a wayward Farrell field goal attempt to keep the score at 13-7.

The game took on a whole new feel in the last three minutes and seven seconds.  Virginia had been on the doorstep all day but could not put the pesky Monarchs away.  They had a chance as Farrell lined up for a 37-yard field goal to extend the lead to 16-7.  He however missed wide right setting up the back and forth, last second heroics.

ODU got the message and took the ball down the field in a little over two minutes to take a 14-13 lead.  The connection of Hayden Wolff to TE Zack Kuntz nearly finished off the Cavaliers.  The two connected for a 22-yard completion to keep the drive alive on fourth down and then made another pitch and catch work when Kuntz scored on an 18-yard corner route giving momentum to the Monarchs.

 

The biggest drive of the game began with 1:01 on the clock and Brennan Armstrong at the controls.  Armstrong used his arm and his feet to manuever the Cavaliers into a last play field goal attempt.  Brendan Farrell went from hanging his head down to holding his head high as his game-winning 26-yard field goal split the uprights and redeemed the kicker for the earlier miss.

Virginia gained 513 yards compared to the 324 yards from Old Dominion.  The offense was constantly getting close but finding negative ways to unravel their success giving ODU a chance until the last drive.

 

Virginia (2-1) will travel to face ACC rival Syracuse on Friday night.  The Monarchs (1-2) take the trip back down I-64 and prepare for a home battle with Arkansas State on Saturday. 

virginia cavaliers squash the richmond spiders, 34-17, in 2022 season opener

Brennan Armstrong #5 races into endzone for a TD

The University of Virginia kicked off the 2022 season under the direction of new coach, Tony Elliott, in style.  The Richmond Spiders made the trip up I-64W looking to soil the season opener for Uva as they did six years ago to the day when Bronco Mendenhall started his tenure as the Virginia Coach.

 

This year was different but it didn’t start that way.  The new look Cavaliers got off to an uncomfortable start.  The visitors from the state’s capital struck first as they marched down the field and scored their first points of the season to take a 7-0 lead.  Even though the Cavaliers were behind, they cranked up the high powered offense and scored 21 unanswered points before Richmond converted a field goal to stop the bleeding.  With a 21-10 lead, Virginia tacked on another touchdown and took a commanding 28-10 lead into the locker room at halftime.

 

The game was very much in the control of the Hoos however the Spiders did not quick.  They drove the length of the field with the opening possession of the second half and created a little uneasiness for the Wahoo faithful.  The Spiders found the endzone again and closed the gap to 28-17. 

 

The Cavaliers responded with a solid drive to squash the Spiders’ momentum and provide a great cushion to the delight of the fans.

 

With both teams playing good defense in the fourth quarter, Virginia was able to maintain the advantage and close out the contest with the 34-17 opening victory.  

 

The Spiders were able to generate 330 yards led by QB Reece Udinski who passed for 160 yards on 22 of 34 with a touchdown pass and no interceptions.  He was complimented by a running attack that produced 170 yards mostly by Savin Smith who generated 88 yards alone with a touchdown.

 

The Cavaliers countered with a 21/33 effort resulting in 246 yards in the air by Brennan Armstrong who tossed two TD passes with one interception and also led all rushers with 105 yards on the ground.  He was joined by Perris Smith who collected 104 yards rushing while running and catching a touchdown pass each in his first start as a Cavalier.  The Hoos created 505 yards of offense but were guilty of two turnovers. 

 

The win gives the Cavaliers (1-0) momentum as they head to Big Ten opponent, the Illinois Fighting Illini next week.  Richmond (0-1) shall look to make the leap into the win column when the open their home schedule versus St. Francis also next Saturday. 

 

EMSPORTS 9/3/2022

amaka agugua-hamilton is the new women's basketball coach for the university of virginia

 

Hope springs eternal is a phrase that many common to starting over.  It also embodies a positive mantra that encourages a person that a new day and new beginning looks better than what you don’t have. 

 

The Virginia  Cavaliers' Women’s basketball team is preparing to start a new era, coincidentally as the 2022 spring season begins so does the era of Coach Mox.

 

Amaka Agugua-Hamilton begins her 1st season as the head coach of the Lady Cavaliers.  Her impressive resume includes the head coaching position at Missouri State University where she accomplished many worthy achievements.  Coach Mox led Missouri State to 2 Missouri Valley Conference Regular Season titles and a Sweet 16 trip as part of back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths. Overall, her teams compiled a 74-15 overall record in her three years with the Bears.

Coach Mox has been familiar with UVa as a native Virginian, she starred at Oakton High School and spent some of her formative coaching years as an assistant with VCU and ODU.

 

The future looks promising.  Coach Mox inherits some experience from returning players.  The foundation is a work in progress but Coach Mox is more than ready to re-claim the national platform and remind people in the ACC the once dominant Lady Cavaliers are going to make the opponents take notice that this program is looking to be in the mix fir a long time. 

 

EMSPORTS 2/24/22

 

st. bonaventure wins a thriller, beating virginia on the road to advance to nit semifinals

Virginia’s season ends in heartbreak fashion.  The Cavaliers couldn’t make the last stop or last bucket when they needed it.  St. Bonaventure scored on two free throws with five seconds left to end the Cavaliers’ season in the NIT Quarterfinals, winning 52-51.

 

Kihei Clark took the last shot but his shot was swatted away as time expired and the Bonnies form upper New York pulled off the upset and secured a trip to Madison Square Garden to play in the NIT Semifinals.

 

St. Bonaventure used a 7-1 run to close the game out in the last three minutes.  Virginia played mightily to he end but a few missed opportunities at the free throw line with a chance to ice the game proves to be their downfall.

 

Osun Osunniyi used his great leaping ability to toss away the Clark attempt at the end. He led the way with 10 points and six rebounds.  He tied teammates Jaren Holmes and Dominick Welch for scoring honors. 

 

The Cavaliers got another great game from Armaan Franklin who scored a game high 17 points with his six rebounds.  He got support from Jayden Gardner who supplied 14 points.

Virginia ends their season at 21-14 while the Bonnies improve to 23-9.

 

EMSPORTS 2/22/2022

armaan franklin gets hot, virginia escapes with 71-69 win at university of north texas


When you hear the phrase March Madness, it generally conjures up the images of the games where upsets happen or unbelievable shots fall. That same phrase holds true for the Cardiac Cavs. Virginia never makes it easy but always entertaining. The Cavaliers traveled to Dentin, ate as to take on the Mean Green of the University of North Texas in round 2 of the NIT. The Mean Green were the hosts and just like Virginia they played a deliberate, possession careful game that seems like a tortoise compared to a hare.

 

Virginia looked at a mirror image of themselves and expected a close game. Both teams did not disappoint. The game started out like scoring was a bad taste and nobody liked what they tried. Virginia scored one points in the first six minutes and only trailed 15-8 with about 10 minutes left as UNT was only slightly better. Both offenses found a little more room and rhythm towards the last 10 minutes of the first half. Virginia closed the half 18-9 offensively and held a 26-24 lead at intermission.

 

Virginia and North Texas became more assertive however Virginia was more efficient. The Cavaliers pushed the lead to ten, 38-28, on the strength of Reece Beekman and Jayden Gardner. The lead stayed about the same until the 11-minute mark when North Texas made their move. Virginia slowly watched their lead melt away as the home team turned up the heat and grabbed momentum. The Cavaliers were struggling outside Armaan Franklin who didn’t score in the first half.

 

It was basically all Armaan Franklin versus the Mean Green as they traded baskets until UNT finished with a 6-0 run to tie the game at 55-55 and send it into overtime. In overtime, Franklin kept doing his hot shooting. He personally scored the first nine points in overtime. His 17 points consecutively pumped up the visiting Hoos and forced the Mean Green near the brink of a loss.

 

However, the Cardiac Cavs didn’t get the name by accident. With a 68-61 lead, Francisco Caffaro picked up a personal foul then a technical foul. His emotion got the best of him and it helped turn the tide for UNT. They scored three points and decide to foul to extend the game. The strategy nearly worked as Virginia missed front ends of two one-and-one chances and then only made three out of their last six free throws. That gave UNT one last chance down 2, with almost four seconds left. 

 

A last second heave from Tyler Perry banged off the backboard and rim and Virginia survived with a 71-69 win. The Gardner and Franklin duo provided nearly half the scoring as each scored 17 points. The starting guards of Reece Beekman (13 points) and Kihei Clark (11 points) helped as well and they combined for 13 assists with only two of the teams six turnovers. The Mean Green was solid. They had four starters in double figures led by Mardrez McBride’s 21 points.

 

The home team shot over 44% for the game and nearly 37% from the 3pt line. They were very good at the free throw line making 11-14 whereas Virginia shot 10-19. The Cavaliers were better from the field converting 53% from behind the three-point line and 48% from field overall. The Mean Green finishes at 25-7 while Virginia advances into the quarterfinals with a date against Oklahoma or St. Bonaventure.

 
EMSPORTS.org 3/20/2022

virginia cavaliers hold on to beat mississippi st. 60-57, in first game of nit

The Virginia Cavaliers were one of many teams who had plans to compete in a postseason NCAA Tournament for a crown.  In this case, they had to re-focus for they were not selected in the field of 68.  Instead, they got a golden opportunity to continue their season with a game in the National Invitational Tournament which invited 32 teams to compete for the title.

 

Anytime you get to compete for a championship, a true competitor will battle until someone wins, regardless of the sport.  In the case of the NIT, Virginia had been here before.  Their program had captured two NIT titles in 1980 and 1992.

 

The Cavaliers got the fortune of hosting the SEC's Mississippi State Bulldogs who actually were the third-seed for this region of teams.  However, construction at their home arena meant the Cavaliers were hosting the Bulldogs but wearing their road uniforms since the home team wears white.

 

Virginia was methodical and after Iverson Molinar tied the game at four apiece, Virginia flexed their steely cool defense and controlled the tempo in the first half.  They received unexpected contributions from Francisco Caffaro and Kody Stattmann who combined for 12 points. 

 

The Bulldogs who were a strong, physical group relied on their interior offense and lightning quick guards, especially SEC 1st Teamer, Iverson Molinar.  However, the Cavaliers countered with their trademark Packline Defense and the impressive play of All-ACC Defensive 1st Teamer, Reece Beekman. 

 

The leading scorer, Jayden Gardner, was not able to get much going as he only scored 2 points.  The starting backcourt of Kihei Clark and Reece Beekman combined for 13 points as the Hoos steadily built a nice cushion to take a 27-19 halftime score.  

 

The Bulldogs brought more bite and offense to open up the second half.  They worked the ball inside with authority and made a couple of transition baskets.  In less than five minutes, a 15-5 run gave Miss. St a lead of 34-32.  Virginia eventually answered but it would become a back and forth contest for the next few minutes of the half.

 

At about the 10 min mark, Virginia made their big push.  Miss. State had scored as many points at this moment,19, as they had scored the entire first half.

 

Virginia took the lead at 38-36 and never gave it back.  It did get tighter than expected as Brooks made three consecutive three pointers and a few surprisingly missed free throws set up a last second heave from Molinar to tie the game.  In the end, the Cavs prevailed.

 

Molinar who scored 7 in first half, finished with 13, nearly five below his team leading 18 points a game. Tolu Smith led the way with 16 pts and 11 rebounds.  Ex-Tar Heel Garrison Smith scored 11 of his 13 in second half to make it close. 

 

Gardner scored 16 (14 after halftime) to power UVa and Beekman also reached doubles with 14 points plus six assists and four steals.  The steals placed him on the top of the Virginia record books for most steals in a season passing the mark set by Othello Wilson. Kihei Clark made eight points and dished out a game high 9 assists.

 

Both teams shot and identical 50% on 23-46 field goals.  Armaan Franklin made the only two three pointers for Virginia while Miss. St. connected on four.  Both teams shot a combined 6 for 25 from behind the arc.

 

Virginia turned Miss. St over 14 times (9 in first half) while only committing nine themselves.  The Bulldogs outrebounded Virginia 27 to 24. The win advances Virginia to face University of North Texas in round 2.  Mississippi State ends the season at 18-16. 

 

EMSPORTS 3/16/2022

 

virginia beats louisville, 51-50, for the third time, advances to acc tourney quarterfinals

Virginia Cavaliers do it again.  In the second round of the ACC tourney, the Cavaliers had the task off battling the Louisville Cardinals for the third time this season, second in five days.  

The game was not for the faint of heart as Virginia and Louisville traded more missed shots than points for the first ten minutes.  The Cardinals broke the ice with a basket from Sidney Curry nearly three minutes into the game, while Virginia waited even longer.  Francisco Caffaro tipped home a miss with 16:55 on the game clock.  

 

Each team seemed to be sleep walking most of the first half until Louisville used a modest 11-2 run to take a 13-4 lead at the nine minute mark.  In much the same way as they played in Louisville, Virginia started slow but never lost contact with the Cardinals.  As the half progressed, the Hoos found some cracks in the defense of Louisville and slowly played their way back into the ballgame.  

 

With the score 22-20, Louisville had last possession and took the last shot of the half.  It was a miss but, unfortunately for Virginia, Louisville collected the offensive rebound and was fouled.  Dre Davis sank both free throws and the Cardinals double the lead to 24-20 at the half.

For Virginia, a win would strengthen their postseason resume while the Cardinals were playing in nothing short of winning the ACC tourney.

 

The Cavaliers were the aggressor out of the locker room.  They turned their attention on scoring and a quick 7-0 run gave them their first lead if the game.  Noah Locke from Louisville didn't let that last long as his three pointer tied the game at 27.  Each team found more offense and traded baskets before Virginia captured just a slight advantage.  This began a back and forth of swapping baskets which lasted for nearly 11 minutes of the second half.

 

Malik Williams swished another Cardinals' 3pt shot that gave Louisville the lead 42-41.  Virginia and Louisville were struggling to take full control and after a few more possessions, Noah Locke ended Virginia's back to back baskets with another 3 pointer to tie the game at 45 with under two minutes to play.

 

This was the moment that a team had to make the big plays or less mistakes to push their team into the next round.  Virginia found enough points and a few good defensive stops to edge the Cardinals 51-50.  Virginia needed two final free throws from Jayden Gardner to make a date against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the quarterfinals.

 

The effort from both squads left each team exhausted and beaten.  The performance of Malik Williams was nearly enough for the Cards to pull off the upset.  His 11 points and game high 13 rebounds were a great final showcase for this senior.  On the other side, Jayden Gardner paced the Cavs with 17 points and the big free throws. Kihei Clark was steady and was everywhere in the stat sheet.  The 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and one steal were descriptive of his all-around effort.

 

Virginia shot a respectable 42% from the field and made 9 of 13 from the free throw line.  The Cards shot 33 percent and 23% from behind the arc.  They made only five of nine at the free throw line. However, Virginia was the first team to ever win an ACC tourney game with making a three-point basket (0-6).

 

Louisville finished the season at 13-19.  The Cavaliers advance with a 19-12 record. 

 

EMSPORTS 3/09/2022

florida state shocks virgina, buzzer beater 3pt wins it 64-63

It is finally here.  The Seniors from UVA have a chance to close out their final home game with a victory. The Florida State Seminoles were the opponent and they had struggled with injuries and inexperience players trying to make plays.  They seemed to be learning on the job as growing pains come with each game.

 

The Cavaliers held out hope for a late run to get momentum for another NCAA tourney.  The Seminoles were looking for a quality road win and respectability.

Virginia and FSU started slow until Virginia jumped out to a 15-6 lead and the crowd was on full swing.  The Seminoles struggled in the first 10+ minutes and it looked like a long evening.  However, Florida State made some shots and their confidence grew.   A 10-0 run gave the Seminoles their first lead since a 2-0 lead to start the game.

 

Virginia had fallen into a scoring drought but recovered to take the lead at 17-16.  Both teams battled to a 25-25 tie with a little over 3 minutes remaining until the Virginia went on a modest 9-4 run and grabbed a 34-29 lead at half.

 

The second half started out in the similar back and forth fashion with Virginia and Florida State trading baskets.  About midway they the half, Uva flexed their muscle and started to distant themselves with an 11-point lead at 48-37.

 

Following a timeout, Florida Star responded and with a 7-0 run to make the score 48-44.  The challenge was for Virginia to outlast the Seminoles with under seven minutes left.

Virginia pushed the lead to 8 with under two minutes left but sloppy ball handling and a few Florida State timely shots made for a frantic and fantastic finish. 

 

With the game tied at 61, the Hoos had to get the ball in and try to win it with under 4 seconds left.  Armaan Franklin raced down the floor and made a pull up midrange jumper with just about 1 second remaining.  The Cavaliers and fans were in a frenzy and it seemed like the final blow.  The Seminoles were not done and when a full court pass found Matthew Cleveland nearly 70 feet away, he had enough time to turn in one motion and fire up a prayer.  His prayer was heard and the swish gave the underdog Seminoles a dramatic, come from behind victory at 64-63.

 

The loss dampens the Cavaliers hopes for a tourney bid without a great run in the ACC Tournament.  The Seminoles can take some joy in a great road victory.

 

Jayden Gardner took game high honors with 21 points.  Armaan Franklin provided 13 points off the bench.  Francisco Caffaro and Kihei Clark closed out the home schedule with seven points each.   Matthew Cleveland was the hero scoring 20 points including the buzzer beating three- pointer.  Harrison Prieto scored 14 points to join his teammate in double figures.  

 

Virginia will finish next weekend at Louisville. while Florida State will close at home with two games versus Notre Dame and NC State. 

 

EMSPORTS 2/26/2022 

duke survives in charlottesville, wins a tough fought battle 65-61 over a determined cavalier team

When it is Duke Week, the intensity increases, the crowd is louder and the focus has to be as strong as it has ever been.  For the Virginia Cavaliers, there is no bigger game this season.  After beating Duke in Cameron in an upset almost 10 days ago, the Hoos knew this game would be even tougher. 

 

The 7th- ranked Duke squad was not only eyeing payback but this would be Coach K's last visit into JPJ.  The Blue Devils were looking to lock up the ACC regular season crown and overall #1 seed for the ACC tourney which was less than two weeks away.

In the first matchup, Virginia jumped on Duke early and did a good job of scoring in the paint.  This matchup was played differently.  Kihei Clark brought the shooting touch and gave Virginia an early lead.  He kept shootingthree pointers and kept making them.  Virginia took a 22-17 lead with about five minutes left and the JPJ was rocking.

 

Duke shook off those knockout punches and then turned on their offense.  The Blue Devils outscored Virginia 13-3 with 16 points in the paint. Clark led the way with six of nine from behind the three-point arc.  His 18 points led all scorers.

 

Duke had more balance as Jeremy Roach came off the bench to score seven points.  Trevor Keels and Mark Williams each contributed six points to give Duke a 30-25 advantage at the half.  

Virginia was games but Duke had all the right moves.  In the second half Duke maintained a narrow lead even getting it as high as seven points at 49-42 but could never climb over the hump.

 

With the score at 52-51, Virginia was poised to take the lead.  However, a few empty trips on offense left the door open for Duke to take advantage and they did.  AJ Griffin made consecutive 3s to give Duke the cushion needed to stay ahead.  Griffin scored 10 points in the last three minutes of the contest to eventually allow the Blue Devils to claim a season split with the Cavaliers.  

 

Griffin tied Keels with 13 points each.  Jeremy Roach was high scorer with 15. 

 

Each team shot well over 40% for the game from the field and abotu 40% or better from behind the three-point line as well.  The biggest difference was Duke's ability to cmake free throws.  They were 10-17 from the line and made more shots than UVa attempt (only 5 of 8 from the charity stripe). 

 

Virginia got a great game form Kihei Clark, the senior scorer a career high 25 points but UVA fell just a little short.  Jayden Gardner finished with 16 and Reece Beekman chipped in 11.  Virginia now stands at 17-11 overall and 11-7 in ACC. Duke improves to 24-4 on the season with a 14-3 ACC mark. 

 

EMSPORTS 2/23/2022

JAyden Gardner's 26 points muscled the cavaliers in a win over the yellow jackets at home, 63-53

photo by virginiasports.com

Virginia welcomed the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets into the friendly walls of JPJ Arena. The Hoos were looking to capitalize on the big victory at Duke. The Yellow Jackets were seeking a rare victory on the road.

 

The game started off with defenses gaining the advantage. The offenses did not find the basket in the first three minutes of the game until Armaan Franklin broke the seal with a patented mid-range jumper. The GT defense is an interesting mixture of 1-3-1 high pressure zone with man principles. It is designed to confuse and take away easy baskets. The Virginia offense started slow but adjusted with precise ball movement and a string of baskets from around the paint area.  

 

The Hoos embarked on a 19-7 run to extend the lead to 22-9 with just under seven minutes left.

The Cavaliers continues to apply greater pressure on both ends of the court which kept the Yellow Jackets at a safe distance.  The largest lead was 32-15 and the Cavaliers were in complete control.  The score was 32-19 at the half when GT scored the final four points. 

Virginia took advantage at the free throw line converting 10-11 attempts while GT only made 2 of 3.  Each team shot well with both teams making above 42%. The Cavaliers were led by Jayden Gardner's 15. Michael Devoe recorded nine points for the Yellow Jackets.

 

The visitors from Atlanta made some adjustments and slowly cut into the deficit after halftime.  Including the mini-run prior to halftime, Georgia Tech went on another 7-0 run as they began to see more made shots, Virginia was going through some rough offensive patches. It seemed the Yellow Jackets were getting the bounces and the Hoos were seeing the ball rolling around and out. Georgia Tech brought the lead to five with under eight minutes left. The Hoos were able to keep control with pinpoint shooting at the free throw line. Each team struggled with turnovers as well with Virginia committing 10 and Georgia Tech with 15.

 

The Cavaliers saw their lead whittled to two points when GT scored on a layup from Michael Devoe. The critical moments became even tighter with momentum in Georgia Tech's corner. Virginia was ready for the task.

 

Kihei Clark, the passionate leader, made the shot to take the air out of Georgia Tech's sail. Clark splashed home a backbreaking big three with about two and a half minutes left stalling a late charge by GT. Then seven straight free throws, four by Clark, allowed the Cavaliers to secure the win at 63-53.

 

The Yellow Jackets shot the ball well in the second half and finished at 46% for the game and made 33% of their three-pointers. They also made 7 out of 10 free throws. The Cavs cooled off in the second half and fell to 39% shooting with 22% from behind the arc for the game. Their great advantage of 21-23 at the charity stripe proved to be a tremendous difference. The rebounds also went in favor to Virginia at 32 to 24.

 

Jayden Gardner finished with a game high 26 points and 7 rebounds. Kihei Clark was the other Hoo in double digits with 15 points. Francisco Caffaro had a game high 8 boards. Michael Devoe poured in 17 points as Jordan Usher gave the team 11 and Rodney Howard chipped in 10 off the bench.

 

The fourth consecutive win gives Virginia a 15-9 overall record and moves them to 10-5 in ACC. Georgia Tech now stands at 10-14 with a 3-10 record in conference.

 

EMSPORTS 2/12/2022

the virginia cavaliers quiet the hot shooting miami hurricanes at home, win comfortably 71-58

The Cavaliers made a statement in the basketball court against the Miami Hurricanes.  The visiting 'Canes had been an early surprise in the ACC and were only 1/2 game out of the first-place spot. 

 

These Hoos were playing better basketball and after finishing off the BC Eagles at home they looked to keep up the impressive play with another home victory.

The home crowd in JPJ was pleasantly surprised to see the offensive firepower from Virginia that appeared in very few glimpses.

 

On this evening, Virginia was the aggressor and punished Miami in every aspect of the game.  Virginia shot 60% from the field and over 53% from behind the three point line, both season highs.  The Hurricanes made 54% of their shots but the three point accuracy was scant.  The team made only 4 of 17 tries and were non-existent from the free throw by attempting no free throws.  The Cavs doubled up the Hurricanes with 8 made threes and hit all three of their free throws.

 

The Cavaliers were equally as effective with passing and recorded 23 assists on the 30 made field goals.  They also grabbed 24 rebounds compared to only 19 from Miami due to the excepting shooting by both squads.

 

Armaan Franklin took game high honors with 22 points.  He was joined in double digits by Jayden Gardner with 12 and Kihei Clark's 11.  Reece Beekman flirted with a double double with his nine points and 10 assists.  Miami had two players in double figures as Kameron McGusty had 21 and Charlie Moore scored 17.  

 

With their fifth consecutive win over the U, Virginia (14-9) is now 8-5 in ACC play and moves closer to the coveted double bye as the ACC tournament nears.  The Hurricanes fall to (16-7) 8-4 in conference play and with their second consecutive loss now drop into fifth place tie. 

 

EMSPORTS 2/5/2022 

virginia takes control after rough start, pulls away from eagles late to win 67-55

The University of Virginia welcomed another foe into the friendly confines of JPJ. With a desire to erase the close loss at Notre Dame, the Cavaliers turned their attention to the gritty Boston College Eagles who looked to capture an elusive ACC road win. The Eagles came out flying and set the pace grabbing an 11-4 lead stunning the Hoos and putting the home crowd into silence mode.

 

The Cavs were in silence mode as well. Their familiar common scoring drought showed up for nearly six minutes as they could only convert four free throws before Jayden Gardner's layup broke the streak. Fortunately, BC was just as anemic.

 

The Hoos finally took the lead on Kody Stattmann's two free throws at 15-14 and proceeded to lead for the remainder of the half. The Cavaliers led 30-25 and their 17-11 run was enough to put them in the lead.

 

The second half was more of the classic Cavaliers' packline defense as they made life miserable for the Eagles. The Cavaliers seemed to be in every passing lane or contesting any shot that the Eagles attempted. Using the energy from the first half, another 16-6 spurt gave Virginia a 46-31 lead with under 13 minutes to play. The 15-point lead was the biggest for either team and Virginia was in control.

 

Boston College made a small charge to get the game to an eight point spread but were never able to really threatened. Virginia made enough plays and were nearly flawless from the free throw line making 12 of the last 13, the last six consecutively by Kihei Clark.

 

The double-digit win of 67-55 tied for the largest win by the Cavs in the ACC this year.

Clark was phenomenal going 10-10 at the free throw line and scoring a game high 19 points. Jayden Gardner was nearly as effective making all seven of his free throws and pouring in 17. Kadin Shedrick finished with a game high 8 rebounds plus 13 points and Armaan Franklin chipped in 12.

 

The Eagles only had two double digit scorers led by James Karnik with 16 and DeMarr Langford, Jr. with 11. Their highest scorer, Makai Ashton-Langford, was held to seven points, six below his 13 points a game average.

 

Both teams shot over 40% for the game but the biggest difference was at the charity stripe where Virginia converted 26 of 29 attempts. The Eagles were a perfect 12 for 12.

 

The win gives Virginia (13-9) a 7-5 conference record and drops BC to 4-7 in the league. Virginia gets a rest before making another home defense when the ACC leading Miami Hurricanes come calling in Saturday afternoon. The Eagles (9-12) get a week off before hosting the Syracuse Orange next Tuesday night.

 

EMSPORTS 2/1/2022

virginia captures a big win on big monday, defeats louisville 64-52

For the true college hoops’ fans, the term "Big Monday" brings a smile that goes from ear to ear.  Big Monday is the staple of the college basketball season when a big matchup takes place to kick off the week of televised college basketball games across the country.


The Virginia Cavaliers were the leadoff game playing host to the Louisville Cardinals in the first edition of Big Monday in the 2021-2022 season.  Both teams had identical records 11-8 overall, 5-4 in the ACC.  This game was critical to erase the losses from their previous games and move up the ACC standings with hopes of gaining momentum for a NCAA tourney bid.
The Cavaliers wanted to get off to a fast start and wanted to make their mark with their defense.  They accomplished both early.  The Cavaliers hot shooting helped them race out to a 19-point lead, 27-8 with just over 6 minutes left.  The Cardinals found a little life from some help off the bench and were able to reduce the lead to 35-23 going into the half.  


The Cavaliers were very effective and efficient. They recorded 9 assists on 13 made field goals and only committed 3 turnovers. The Cardinals struggled shooting under 40% from the field but were able to convert on four made three-pointers to climb back into the game.  
The Cavaliers were playing well but Louisville was very hungry and desperate.  The Cardinals continued their streak from the end of the first half and extended the run into a 13-4 streak. 

 

Virginia made good plays but the energy and the momentum had now become red.  The Cavaliers were failing to put the Cardinals away and Louisville kept themselves within striking distance.  The Cardinals made their move by driving to the basket and not settling for the just jump shots.  


The JPJ crowd went from electric to cautious.  The big lead and happiness were waning and the Cardinals could almost taste the comeback.  The score was 45-41 in favor of Virginia and slowly evaporating.  The Cardinals had a chance to cut it to one basket.  The lead had not been that close since the first 90 seconds of the game. Virginia turned the visitors back and it was the defense that made the difference.  A Reece Beekman steal took the wind out of the comeback and Kadin Shedrick scored a layup.  This stemmed the Louisville momentum and gave Virginia a shot of energy which helped them control the clock and the scoreboard in the last 10 minutes of the game.


The win was a huge boost for Virginia as they now look at the second half of the ACC slate.  Kihei Clark led with 15 points and five rebounds and five assists.  Reece Beekman only scored two points but he was instrumental with his 11 assists out of 20 from the team’s total.  Jayden Gardner had 14, Kadin Shedrick added 11 and Armaan Franklin finished with 10.  Beekman also tied the with Francisco Caffaro for tops in rebounds at 7.


The Cardinals just ran out of shots and time.  They made 9 of 28 three-point shots but they only shot roughly 38% from the field for the game.  The Cardinals also were meek at the free throw line making only 1 of 3 tries.  Matt Cross came off the bench to lead them with 11 points.  Malik Williams scored 10 and tied Cross with six rebounds.  Virginia was sensational shooting over 47% from the field (only 32%) from behind the 3pt arc but made 11 of 14 at the charity stripe.


Now 6-4 in the ACC, the Cavaliers are looking up at the possibility of grabbing the coveted double bye for the ACC Tournament.  The Cardinals will have to reload and get their heads up when they prepare to travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium and face the Duke Blue Devils.  Virginia will look to add to their win column with a trip to South Bend, Indiana and take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

 

EMSPORTS 1/24/2022

wake forest finishes strong pulls away from uva on the road for a 63-55 win

he Virginia Cavaliers were looking to extend a few streaks when they faced the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.  The Cavs wanted to win a second consecutive home game in the ACC and push their streak to 10 wins over Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons did not care for either streak and used a late run to pull away from Virginia with a 63-55 road victory.

 

The game was a display of alternating runs and and offensive lulls.  Virginia grabbed and early lead at 6-3 only to see Wake score eight in a row to grab an 11-6 advantage.  Virginia and Wake were both mired in shooting slumps as each team failed to make a field goal for over 7 minutes with each  in overlapping stretches.

 

Virginia was able to climb out the hole and led 22-13 with about six minutes in the first half.  Wake jumped started their offensive and by halftime used a 16-7 run to climb back into a 29-27 deficit.

 

After halftime each team continue to trade buckets before Virginia was able to stretch out to a 47-40 advantage.  It seemed like the Hoos were going to lock down and secure another victory.

The Demon Deacons had other plans and executed with precision over a 7 minute span that saw the team go from a deficit to a 53-47 lead after the 13-0 run. Virginia would not recover and closed the gap to 59-55 with a minute and sixteen seconds left.  However, Wake Forest maintained their poise and finished off the comeback with four free throws to make the final tally.

 

Wake Forest had four players in double figures led by Jake LaRavia’s 15.  Virginia could only counter with two double digit scorers as Armaan Franklin led everyone with 18 and Kody Stattmann fueled the bench production with 11.

 

On the only regular season matchup between the two, Wake Forest and Virginia both have identical 4-3 records in the ACC. At 14-4, Wake Forest will now travel to Georgia Tech while Virginia (10-7) goes on the road to Pittsburgh.  Both games are slated for Wednesday, January 19th.

 

EMSPORTS 1/15/2022

EM-SPORTS WAS NOMINEE FOR THE HIGHLY COVETED, NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED WHO'S WHO OF AMERICA MEDIA PUBLICATIONS

 

CONTACT:              EM TAXI & SHUTTLE SERVICE

Call 434-665-6777        * 24 HOURS A DAY *

Print | Sitemap
© EM Sports