UVa. struggles continue: Cavs lose to Seattle, 59-53

Having survived a horrific effort Monday night with a last second tip-in to beat Norfolk State University, the Virginia Cavaliers weren’t as fortunate tonight against Seattle University, losing 59-53 to the Red Hawks in John Paul Jones Arena.

Although almost unimaginable, Virginia was less efficient offensively in tonight’s game than in Monday’s near-debacle against NSU. The independent Red Hawks, in the program’s second year back in Division I, watched on defense as the Cavaliers shot just 10 percent from behind the three-point line (2-20) and not much better from anywhere else on the floor, for that matter.

Despite welcoming back leading scorer and rebounder Mike Scott, who had missed the last two contests after arthroscopic ankle surgery on Dec. 16, the Cavaliers played void of any emotion or urgency the entire evening. Scott, obviously rusty in 31 minutes of action, scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Appearing somewhat sluggish, Scott missed a couple of rebound opportunities late in the game that resulted in second-chance scores by Seattle.

Sterling Carter scored 19 points to lead the Red Hawks, who snapped the Cavaliers five-game win streak. Aaron Broussard added 15 for Seattle, which was the second school to inflict damaging losses to the once-mighty Atlantic Coast Conference Wednesday evening. Earlier, Sienna defeated Georgia Tech, while North Carolina State needed a late rally to edge Becknell.

Taking it to the Cavaliers from the opening tip, Seattle (5-10) led by as many as 10 points in the first half and led 30-23 at intermission. As in Monday’s contest, horrific shooting plagued the host from the outset as Virginia was connecting on just 30 percent from the floor during the opening half.

Seattle came out of the locker room and built upon their first-half play by opening up a double-digit lead at 41-31 at the 13:45 mark. Back-to-back baskets by Carter and a driving off-balance floater in the lane by Cervante Burell pushed the margin to 15 and 48-33 with 5:45 remaining.

The Cavaliers staged a semi-rally late as they sliced the margin to six on a Sammy Zeglinski basket at the 2:45 mark. Needing a defensive stand, the Virginia defense failed to answer as the Red Hawks scored on a putback shot to push the lead back to eight and secure the upset win.

Virginia (8-4) will now break for the Christmas holiday and will return to action on Dec. 30th as they host Big 12 foe Iowa State.

Story by Scott German


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