Dec. 13, 1997

Curtis Staples
Curtis Staples scored 20 points in Cavs victory (file photo).

Virginia Holds On To Beat Virginia Commonwealth

RICHMOND, Va. - Curtis Staples scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half Saturday night and Virginia withstood a late rally by Virginia Commonwealth for a 73-67 victory at the Robins Center.

Virginia (5-3) led by as many as 12 in the second half before the Rams (2-4) scored six straight to get within 67-62 with 2:49 left.

After the teams traded baskets and Willie Dersch hit two free throws to give the Cavaliers a 71-64 lead, Randy Mills' 3-pointer drew the Rams to within four for the first time in the half, but they didn't score again.

Staples, who made seven 3-pointers when Virginia opened its season here with an 83-79 loss to Richmond in double overtime, was 6-for-11 from 3-point range.

Dersch, held scoreless in his last two games and pulled from the starting lineup, finished with a career-high 13 points for Virginia. Richmond native Colin Ducharme added 12 and Norman Nolan 11 for the Cavaliers.

Mills and Melvin Drake led VCU with 18 points each and Mylo Brooks had 16. Scott Lilly had 6 on two 3-pointers down the stretch.

The Cavaliers got seven 3-pointers in the first half, five by Staples, and led 40-29 at the break.

The Cavaliers trailed 15-8 after about seven minutes until Staples hit his third 3-pointer, this one from the right corner. That ignited a 16-2 run, with Staples adding another 3 and Chezley Watson hitting one to end it.

The game was the second of three home games the Cavaliers will play at the Robins Center this season. In the first, Richmond beat Virginia. The Cavaliers also will host Wake Forest here on Jan. 4.