Saturday, December 31, 2005

Cavs Hold Off Pesky Terriers 77-66

After all the positives stemming from a Loyola beatdown, Virginia returned to its expected form in Richmond, a team unable to keep the UMBC Terriers at bay. Whenever Virginia would mount a run, UMBC would respond, making this game far from enjoyable for the sparse crowd in attendance. Nevertheless, Virginia got an important win and are above .500 yet again. The Cavaliers can thank the reemerging game of J.R. Reynolds who had 20 points, 14 in the second half. Even better was his perfect 10 for 10 from the line, a place which had cost the Cavaliers a close decision against Fordham. Jason Cain continued his strong play was well with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Diane and Joseph also were able to hit the double digit mark and help provide enough offense to pull out the 77-66 victory.

The problem for Virginia was number 24 Brian Hodges. Hodges, not even a starter, came up big for the Terriers with 23 points including 6-13 from beyond the arc. Jay Greene was the only other player to reach double digits. The Terriers were able to keep it close with rebounds as well, only losing 34-33. Virginia is still a very young team and will need games like this if they are learn how to put away an opponent. Not every game can be as clean as Loyola, nevertheless, Virginia won even with a subpar performance from Sean Singletary. The star guard only picked up 7 points with 2-5 shooting, but he also had 6 assists.

Next up for the Cavaliers are the Hartford Hawks on Saturday to end the year. Certainly 2005 is a year most Virginia basketball fans would love to forget with all the troubles and player departures. Gillen is gone, and maybe 2006 will usher in a new era of defense and intensity that Dave Leitao seem to embody perfectly. Hartford is 5-5 on the season and the Cavaliers will look to avoid the same mark by winning.


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