Thomas Jefferson first penned the phrase "All men are created equal." And last night in Cancun, Mexico, it didn't matter if you were a scholarship player or a walk-on, because if you have the talent and the touch, Virginia will give you a chance. Will Sherrill made the most of that opportunity last year, and provided the 'Hoos with the much-needed lift to rally for the victory over Cleveland St.
Sylven Landesberg scored 20 points and Will Sherrill came off the bench to add 18, including 15 in the second half, to lead Virginia to a 76-65 victory over Cleveland State on Wednesday night.
Virginia (4-2) rallied from a 10-point, second-half deficit to finish in third at the Cancun Classic. It did so with the help of clutch beyond-the-arc shooting in the second half, led by Sherrill's 4 for 5. The team shot 8-11 from the three in the second half, or 72.7%.
"When I was thinking about coming to Virginia this is the way I hoped it would turn out," Sherrill said. "Tonight was a big win for us because we faced some adversity. We were down at halftime. I’m thankful I was able to come in and give us a lift. My teammates were able to find me when I was wide open in rhythm and I was able to knock them down. The shots were falling."
Cleveland State (3-3), which lost both of its games in the tournament, extended its lead to 39-29 at the 17:33 mark. The Cavaliers hit three straight baskets to cut the lead to 41-38 with 15:13 left before Sherrill tied the score at 46-46 on a 3-pointer with 12:13 remaining.
Virginia took the lead for good on Mike Scott's dunk and another 3-pointer from Sherrill. Scott added 15 points, Mustapha Farrakhan had 11 and Sammy Zeglinski finished with 10 points for Virginia. Virginia outrebounded the Vikings 32-18.
"You’re going to face adversity so you have to be able to handle that and not just crack," Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett explained. "Against South Florida and Stanford we didn’t answer the challenge. That was a good sign tonight. I was happy for the guys."
This win marks Bennett's first road victory with the Cavaliers, who return to Charlottesville to face Penn St. in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Monday.