Elizabeth German: UVA overcomes exam sluggishness

uva basketballAppearing as though that hadn’t played played in 11 days, the University of Virginia basketball team eventually was able to show enough signs of life to coast to a 70-54 win over Cleveland State Thursday night.

The Cavaliers, now 10-0 on the year, just wasn’t able to put together any significant stretches of solid basketball on either the offensive or defensive end of the floor. Exactly what most fans in attendance at John Paul Jones Arena thought might be on display by the Cavaliers, who last played  on December 6th, winning in Richmond against Virginia Commonwealth University, graced the court for most of the night – inconsistency.

Virginia used a smothering defense to hold Cleveland State to just four points in the first 13 minutes, but the Cavaliers held only a 16-4 lead at that mark. The Cavaliers led  31-18 at the half.

UVA used an 18-11 second half surge to bolt to a 49-29 lead. The strong start was fueled by eight straight points by Justin Anderson. who had only two points at intermission.

The entire night seemed to be a struggle for the exam-weary Cavaliers, but as usual their top-ranked defense came to the rescue.
Cleveland State made its first field goal attempt of the game but then misfired on their next 11 shots. In the first half half the Vikings went an amazing 10 and a half minutes without a point. Sluggish on offense, Virginia was able to only build up a 16-4 margin.

Now the Cavaliers must turn their attention to a difficult matchup with a solid one-loss Harvard squad. The two teams square off Sunday in Charlottesville with a high-noon tipoff.

Virginia looks to improve on its first post-exam test here tonight.

– Column by Elizabeth German/Augusta Free Press intern/Christopher Newport University student


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