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Cavaliers Continue ACC Play Against No. 23 Miami

Jeff Jones, courtesy UVa Media RelationsThe Virginia men’s basketball team continues Atlantic Coast Conference play today (Jan. 16) when the Cavaliers host nationally ranked Miami at John Paul Jones Arena. The game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Today’s game will be televised by ESPNU and broadcast by the Virginia Sports Radio Network. UVa enters the game with an overall record of 10-4 and a 2-0 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cavaliers are the only team in the ACC undefeated in conference play.

Virginia is coming off an 82-75 victory over No. 20 Georgia Tech at JPJA on Wednesday (Jan. 13). The win was the sixth in a row for the Cavaliers and their second victory over a nationally ranked opponent. The winning streak is the longest for UVa since a seven-game winning streak during the 2006-07 season.

Miami is ranked No. 23 in this week’s Associated Press poll. The Hurricanes enter the game with an overall record of 15-2 and are 1-2 in the ACC. Miami is coming off an 81-66 loss at Virginia Tech on Wednesday (Jan. 13).

Sylven Landesberg, courtesy UVa Media RelationsSophomore guard Sylven Landesberg scored 22 points, had six rebounds and five assists in the Cavaliers’ victory over Georgia Tech. Landesberg has scored in double figures in every game this season and has scored at least 20 points in each of the last three games. Junior guard Mustapha Farrakhan added 15 points and four assists, junior forward Mike Scott scored 12 points and had six rebounds, and sophomore guard Sammy Zeglinski had 10 points in the win.

Also making important contributions for the Cavaliers were senior forward/center Jerome Meyinsse and junior guard Jeff Jones.

Meyinsse started for the first time since the Auburn game on Dec. 7. He had personal highs in an ACC game of eight points and six rebounds, and he tied a career high with two assists.

Jones came off the bench to score nine points and he had two rebounds.

Virginia shot extremely well from the free throw line for the second consecutive game. The Cavaliers made 88.5 percent (23-26) of their free throw attempts against the Yellow Jackets, including 16 of 17 (94.1 percent) in the second half. UVa has made 91.3 percent (42-46) of its free throw attempts in the last two games. The Cavaliers were 19-20 (95.0 percent) from the free throw line against NC State on Jan. 9.

Virginia also out-rebounded Georgia Tech 36-33 and had just seven turnovers in the game. It marked the ninth time this season UVa has had 10 or fewer turnovers in a game.

As you would expect, Virginia head coach Tony Bennett was proud of his team’s effort.

Mike Scott, courtesy UVa Media Relations"It was good," Bennett said. "We had some guys really battle. That’s a good team and we outlasted them, which I was proud of and seeing Jerome [Meyinsse] bang, Mike [Scott] and guys getting on the floor. We said before the game, at home it’s a must, you have to win the ‘x-factor’, you have to win the hustle game. Guys did that and we got a good lift from our bench and took care of the ball and made our free throws. Those are good things."

Landesberg continues to lead the Cavaliers in scoring, assists and minutes played. He is averaging 17.4 points, 2.8 assists (39 assists) and 31.4 minutes played a game. He is second on the team in rebounding with an average of 5.4 a game. Landesberg ranks fifth in the ACC in scoring and 10th in minutes played.

Scott leads the team in rebounding with an average of 8.4 a game and is second in scoring with an average of 13.6 points a game. He is shooting 58.2 percent (64-110) from the field. Scott ranks second in the ACC in field goal percentage and ninth in rebounding.

Zeglinski is averaging 10.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists a game. He is shooting 50.0 percent (34-68) from three-point range and ranks first in the ACC in that department.

As a team, the Cavaliers are averaging 71.0 points a game and allowing an average of 60.1 points a game. UVa is shooting 46.0 percent from the field, including 41.9 percent from three-point range, and 76.1 percent from the free throw line. Virginia ranks first in the conference in three-point field goal percentage, second in free throw percentage and third in scoring defense.

Miami has three players averaging in double figures in scoring led by senior forward Dwayne Collins. Collins is averaging 12.6 points a game and also leads the team in rebounds with an average of 8.6 a game. He is shooting 60.2 percent (80-133) from the field. Collins ranks sixth in the ACC in rebounding.

Also averaging in double figures in scoring for the Hurricanes are senior guard James Dews (12.2 ppg.) and sophomore guard Malcolm Grant (10.7 ppg.). Freshman guard Durand Scott is averaging 8.1 points a game and leads the team in assists with an average of 4.3 a game (73 assists).

As a team Miami is averaging 76.8 points a game and allowing an average of 59.4 points a game. The Hurricanes are shooting 48.4 percent from the field, including 38.6 percent from three-point range, and 62.2 percent from the free-throw line. Miami ranks first in the ACC in scoring defense and three-point field goals made (average of 8.6 a game), and second in field goal percentage and scoring margin (+17.5).

Frank Haith is in his sixth season as head coach at Miami. His Miami teams have compiled an overall record of 103-75 and made four postseason tournament appearances, including the NCAA Tournament in 2008.

Miami leads the series with Virginia 6-3 and has won three of the five games played in Charlottesville. The teams have split the two games played at John Paul Jones Arena. The Hurricanes won 62-55 last season at JPJA in the only game played between the two teams in 2008-09.

The Cavaliers close out their three-game homestand on Monday (Jan. 18) when they host UNC Wilmington. The game was originally scheduled for Dec. 19, but was postponed because of a snowstorm in the Charlottesville area. Monday’s game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.