March 2, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia continues ACC men's basketball action at Boston College on Sunday, March 3. Tipoff at Conte Forum is set for 4 p.m.
The Virginia-Boston College game will be televised by the ACC Network and broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network. Live audio and stats are available online at VirginiaSports.com.
Virginia (20-8) is tied for third in the ACC with a 10-5 record, while Boston College (12-16) is 11th at 4-11.
The Cavaliers are coming off their first win against a top-5 opponent since Feb. 28, 2002, defeating No. 3 Duke, 73-68, Thursday at John Paul Jones Arena. Junior guard Joe Harris (Chelan, Wash.) scored a career-high 36 points and junior forward Akil Mitchell (Charlotte, N.C.) added 19 points and 12 rebounds. Virginia dominated the glass, outrebounding Duke, 36-25.
Boston College has lost three of its last four games overall, but has won three of its last four games at Conte Forum. The Eagles suffered an 82-64 loss at NC State in their last outing on Wednesday.
The Cavaliers defeated the Eagles, 65-51, in the first meeting between the teams on Jan. 26 in Charlottesville. Freshman Justin Anderson (Montross, Va.) scored 16 points and Mitchell added 16 points and six rebounds to lead the Cavaliers in the win. Sophomore Paul Jesperson (Merrill, Wis.) added a career-high seven rebounds and senior Jontel Evans (Hampton, Va.) added six assists. Virginia shot 77.3 percent from the floor in the second half, marking a season high for a half and highest since shooting 78.3 percent (18-of-23) in second half vs. Georgia Tech on Feb. 7, 1984.
Virginia is 9-6 all-time vs. Boston College in a series that dates back to 1970-71. The Cavaliers are 6-6 against Boston College since the Eagles joined the ACC in 2005-06. The Cavaliers aim for their first two-game regular season series sweep against Boston College since 2007-08. Virginia's only win against Boston College in Chestnut Hill was a 79-74 decision on Feb. 17, 2008.
Virginia ranks in the top seven nationally in five defensive categories, highlighted by its fourth-ranked scoring defense at 54.5 points per game. Offensively Virginia has scored 70 or more points in six of its last seven games and is averaging 65.3 points per game, shooting 46.6 percent from the field and a school-best 40 percent from 3-point land.
Harris has vaulted to second in the ACC in scoring at 17.3 points per game and is the only player in the league to rank in the top 10 in 3-point field goal percentage (1st), field goal percentage (6th) and free throw percentage (7th). Harris has led Virginia in scoring in eight of the last nine games and has scored 20 or more points nine times this season.
Mitchell is averaging a career-high 12.8 points per game and ranks third in the ACC with a career-best 8.8 rebounds per game. Evans is averaging 5.2 assists per game in 19 contests.
Anderson leads Virginia rookies in scoring, rebounding, assists and blocked shots. Jesperson has made at least one 3-pointer in eight consecutive games and is averaging eight points per game in the last six games.
Freshman Evan Nolte (Milton, Ga.) has added 6.5 ppg off the bench, while freshman Mike Tobey (Monroe, N.Y.) is rounding into shape after missing five games with mononucleosis. Freshman Taylor Barnette (Lexington, Ky.) gives Virginia a 3-point threat off the bench, drilling 9-of-13 (69.2%) shots from beyond the arc in ACC play.
Head coach Tony Bennett sports a 73-49 record, including a 3-3 mark against Boston College, in four seasons at Virginia. Bennett, who guided the Cavaliers to their first NCAA Tournament since 2006-07 last season, is the first Virginia coach to post back-to-back 20-win seasons since Jeff Jones in 1991-92 and 1992-93.
Boston College is averaging 67.1 points per game, but allowing 68.9 ppg. The Eagles have four players averaging over nine points per game. Leading the way is sophomore forward Ryan Anderson, who ranks fifth in the ACC in scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (8.1 rpg). Freshman guard Olivier Hanlan has added 14.4 ppg and sophomore guard Lonnie Jackson has added 9.9 ppg. Freshman guard Joe Rahon has added 9.8 ppg and a team-leading 103 assists. Head Coach Steve Donahue has a 42-51 record in three seasons at Boston College.
The Cavaliers travel to Florida State on Thursday, March 7. Tipoff at Donald L. Tucker Center is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2.