Feb. 11, 2013
Coach Bennett Previews Virginia Tech Game
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia aims for its second two-game series sweep in three seasons against in-state rival Virginia Tech on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Tipoff at John Paul Jones Arena is set for 7 p.m.
The game will be televised by ESPNU and broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network.
Virginia (17-6, 7-3 ACC) is third in the ACC standings, while Virginia Tech (11-12, 2-8 ACC) is 12th.
The Cavaliers are coming off an impressive 80-69 road win at Maryland and have won six of their last seven games overall. Virginia Tech has lost six consecutive games and hasn't won since posting a 66-65 win over Wake Forest on Jan. 19.
The Cavaliers defeated Virginia Tech, 74-58, in Blacksburg on Jan. 24 and have won four of the last five meetings against the Hokies. Virginia holds an 83-53 all-time advantage over Virginia Tech in a series that dates back to 1914-15. The Cavaliers are 33-12 against the Hokies in Charlottesville, including a 3-3 mark at John Paul Jones Arena. Six of the last seven games between the teams have been decided by seven points or less.
The Cavaliers have held ACC foes under 60 points in eight of 10 games and rank second in the nation in scoring defense of 52.5 points per game. Offensively Virginia is averaging 63.9 points per game, shooting 46 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point land. The Cavaliers' 158 points in their last two games are the most combined points in consecutive games during the Tony Bennett era at UVa.
Junior guard Joe Harris (Chelan, Wash.) is enjoying his finest season as a Cavalier. Harris ranks fifth in the ACC in scoring at 15.9 points per game and is the only player in the league ranked in the top 10 in 3-point field goal percentage (1st), field goal percentage (7th) free throw percentage (9th). Harris has tallied 20 or more points in three of the last four games.
Reigning ACC Rookie of the Week Justin Anderson (Montross, Va.) has scored 10 or more points in five of the last six games, including a career-high 17 in the win at Maryland.
Junior Akil Mitchell (Charlotte, N.C.) is averaging a career-high 12.6 points per game and ranks third in the ACC with a career-best 8.8 rebounds per game.
Senior point guard Jontel Evans (Hampton, Va.) ranks third in the ACC at 5.8 assists per game in 10 league games.
Head coach Tony Bennett sports a 70-47 record, including a 4-3 mark against Virginia Tech, in four seasons at Virginia. Bennett guided the Cavaliers to the NCAA Tournament last season.
Virginia Tech senior guard Erick Green continues to lead the nation in scoring at 25.3 points per game. Green's 35 points against Virginia earlier this season were the most against the Cavaliers since Duke's J.J. Redick scored 40 on Jan. 28, 2006.
Senior forward Jerell Eddie is averaging 13.3 points per game and sophomore guard Robert Brown has added 9.2 ppg. Junior forward Cadarian Raines leads the team in rebounding (153) and blocked shots (28).
James Johnson is in his first year as head coach at Virginia Tech. Johnson spent five seasons on the Virginia Tech men's basketball staff prior to accepting the head coaching position.
The Cavaliers play at North Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 12 p.m.