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Cavaliers Take Down No. 15 Minnesota on the Road

At the risk of getting repetitive, it was lights out shooting tonight, as the Cavaliers took on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. But this time, something was different. This time, the numbers favored Virginia. The Cavaliers shot a remarkable 76.9% from beyond the arc, which included 4-5 from Mustapha Farrakhan, 4-6 from freshman Joe Harris, and 2-2 from senior captain Will Sherrill. Forty minutes later, Virginia found themselves up on top, 87-79 over No. 15 Minnesota.

It was a tale of two halves in Minneapolis, as despite a perfect 6-6 from the three, the 'Hoos found themselves down 39-29 at the intermission. But Sherrill book-ended a 12-1 Virginia run with a pair of threes to give the Cavaliers the 49-48 lead with 13:24 to play. Shortly thereafter, Minnesota's Colton Iverson fell onto Sherrill's right knee, and Sherrill had to be assisted off the court. He would not return.

Harris led the team with 24 points, followed by Farrakhan's 23. Virginia's 87 points is the most Virginia has scored since Tony Bennett's arrival last year. The win was the first out-of-conference road win over an AP Top 15 team since 1982 at No. 3 Georgetown.

Here are a few additional quick hits:

  • Ralph Sampson III, son of Virginia legend Ralph Sampson, put up only 2 points and 4 rebounds for Minnesota. His dad was in the crowd, so maybe he was simply trying to hard.
  • It should be noted that Minnesota was without their starting point guard Al Nolen, who was out due to a foot injury. Also injured was starting small forward Rodney Williams, who had sprained his ankle last week, but managed to put in 7 minutes tonight. Conveniently enough, Minnesota's backup guard Devoe Joseph, who was suspended for academic reasons earlier this season, made his return tonight for the Gophers, but only put up 2 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal. This reminds us of Tony Bennett and Sylven Landesberg last season, except Bennett does not budge when it comes to academics. Just because the team needs the player badly is no excuse for the player to slack off. Uncompromised Excellence.
  • Virginia committed only 11 turnovers tonight. Compare this with the 18 committed in the losing effort at Stanford, the 17 in the loss against Washington, and the 17 against Oklahoma. Between tonight and the mere 10 committed against Wichita State, it is good to see this Cavalier squad showing a bit more discipline and control with the ball.

Virginia finishes off its 6-game road trip of over 11,900 miles with a visit to Blacksburg against the Virginia Tech Hokies, in both teams' ACC opener on Sunday, December 5. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on FSN.