Cavs drop sixth straight

For the sixth straight game the Virginia Cavaliers fell behind by double digits in the first half of play, and as a result dropped they dropped their sixth straight game, losing at home to Boston College 80-70 in Atlantic Coast Conference basketball action Wednesday night.

As in the previous six games, horrible shooting, sloppy ball handling and no existence of an inside threat doomed the Cavaliers from the opening tip. Virginia went as cold as the temperature outside John Paul Jones Arena – at one point in the opening half, the Cavaliers were 4-for-22 from the floor and had more turnovers than field goals in digging a 42-22 halftime deficit.

Whether it was some more inspired play by the home team or simply BC becoming disinterested, Virginia clawed back to with seven points late in the game but never seriously threatened the Eagles. A magnificent second-half performance by freshmen Sylvan Landesberg, in which he scored 26 points on his way to a game high 32, was merely a footnote to what is developing into a disastrous campaign for the Cavaliers, who fell to 1-6 in ACC play and 7-11 overall.

To add even more insult to injury, Boston College was led in scoring by Virginia native (Richmond) Tyrese Rice with 20 points. BC posted the 10-point win despite turning the ball over 20 times, leading to 23 Virginia points.The Eagles (18-6, 6-3 in ACC play) built the commanding halftime lead by limiting the Cavaliers to only six first-half field goals.

Virginia coach Dave Leitato, who seemingly has now taken over the hot seat in Charlottesville from football coach Al Groh, said he was very disappointed by the loss. “I’m obviously extremely disappointed in our performance today. We spent the last two days preparing both on the court and mentally understanding what it takes to be successful, and the first 20 minutes we were absolutely out of it. We continued to put ourselves in a deep hole,” lamented Leitao.

In the second half, the Cavaliers started play with three different players than at the beginning of the contest. When asked about that lineup, Leitao stated, “I put players on the floor who I thought would bring the most energy. They played most of the second half, and I thought they played harder than the guys who played in the first half.”

One thing is certain for Leitao – if his team can not develop an inside game, and their outside shooting woes continue, that seven-win mark they currently possess may be where they find themselves at seasons end.

With an impending schedule that includes games against North Carolina (Saturday at Chapel Hill), Clemson, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, don’t look for anyone to offer sympathy to the Cavaliers the rest of the way.


– Story by Scott German

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