Coming off of two home wins headed into the Christmas break, the Virginia Cavaliers got back to action Monday night.
Well. Sort of.
U.Va. dropped to 9-4 with an 87-52 loss as the offensive woes that have plagued some early-season performances ran headfirst into a red-hot Tennessee Volunteers squad. UT's Jordan McRae led all scorers with 21, and Josh Richardson and Jarnell Stokes each added 20. Justin Anderson led the scoring for Virginia with 11.
Three-point shooting made the difference from early in the first half. Tennessee hit its first five from deep, while the Hoos were only 2-of-12 for the game. Joe Harris hit Virginia's first three-pointer with only seconds left in the first half, a play that looked like it would send the Hoos into the locker room down less than 20. But as time expired, Antonio Barton heaved one up from a few steps inside half-court. The ball dropped, Tennessee led by 22, and the Vols stole back whatever momentum Harris had established for Virginia.
Virginia gets no time to hang its head, opening ACC play on Saturday at a Florida State squad that has been an early season surprise. That game tips at 5 PM, with coverage on ESPN2 and streaming online.