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Groundhog Day: Cavs Up Early, Cavs Struggle, Cavs Lose

Let me know if you've heard this before: UVa comes out like gangbusters draining threes and playing tough D, they get a little cold but go into halftime with a lead, they turn on that tough D to try and keep the game close, they start missing free throws, they begin to struggle from the field, they start to look sluggish on all aspects of the court, and finally the game slips away and the horn sounds. Add Miami to the opponents that UVa has employed this gameplan against.

Even though the Hoos had three players with double figures including Mustapha Farrakhan who continues to have an impressive 4th year and had 20 points. 1st year Joe Harris scored the highest of his ACC career with 18 points and RS 3rd year Sammy Zeglinski contributed 11 points going 3-6 from beyond the arc. 

As before, the Hoos started out well and lead by 9 points in the first half but allowed Miami to remain in the game and only had a 3 point lead going into the half thanks to a Jontel Evans 3-pt FG virtually at the first half buzzer.

The second half allowed the UVa fans to remain hopeful that the boys would be able to eek out a win as they did against Clemson earlier in the week by shooting 60% from the field and and 62% from three point land. The difference between those two games? Free throws down the stretch.

The Cavaliers were up seven with a little over two and a half minutes to play forcing the Canes to start fouling to remain in the game. If the Hoos had merely made the FTs or shot remotely well from the line, the game would have been theirs. Instead, the Cavaliers were 3-6 from the line in the last 2 minutes of the game and missed the front end of two critical one-and-ones. On the other end, the Cavalier defense let down the team by fouling the Hurricanes on two three point shots giving the Canes easy points with the clock not running and allowing them to tie the game. 

In overtime, it seems the Canes were just too much for the Cavaliers. Miami was about to jump out on a 7-1 run to begin the extra time. The Hoos stayed close and even fought back by hitting their free throws and making their three point shots in overtime but it just wasn't enough. Miami's Adrian Thomas sealed the victory for the Hurricane's by hitting two FT's with two seconds left to play in overtime 

The Hoos get a week off to practice their FT's and hopefully do some serious conditioning so they can play up to their potential for an entire game before returning to the hardwood at Florida State next Saturday, Feb. 12.