No. 14 Virginia will get another test in defending the 3-point shot and should be able to pad its offensive statistics Tuesday night when it hosts long-range shooting Savannah State. The Cavaliers held the most productive 3-point shooting team in the nation to eight makes in Saturday’s 80-70 win over Davidson and will next face the team that has launched the most shots from behind the arc this season.
Virginia leads the nation in scoring defense (53.3) and put up its second-most points of the season against Davidson while getting a big performance from Rutgers transfer Nigel Johnson, who scored 22 points after averaging 5.6 in his first nine contests. “Nigel gave us a terrific lift in the first half,” Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett told reporters. “That is kind of our team this year. Sometimes, it is a different guy, but I liked what I saw from him and we needed it.” Virginia has a good chance for another big offensive night in its first ever meeting with the Tigers, who have allowed at least 100 points in four straight games and eight of their 13 outings this season. Davidson came in averaging 13.1 made 3-pointers per game before tying its season low, and Savannah State has attempted 946 shots from the field - 526 from behind the arc.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ACC Network Extra
ABOUT SAVANNAH STATE (3-10): The Tigers have four players with at least 19 made 3-pointers and six with 10 or more, but they are connecting on just 29.7 percent from long range overall. Junior guard Dexter McClanahan has made a team-high 30 from 3-point range and leads the Tigers in scoring (14.0) after recording 22 in the 118-86 setback against Baylor on Sunday. Senior guard Alante Fenner (11.4) is the only other player averaging in double figures scoring while senior forward Javaris Jenkins (8.8) has put up 19.8 per game over the last four contests.
ABOUT VIRGINIA (9-1): A boost from Johnson could help, and senior guard Devon Hall has already become a more prominent weapon while averaging 16.8 points over the last five games to push his average to 13.3. “What an example of a guy who just has gotten better and has been steady and understands the game,” Bennett told reporters of Hall. “We need him to be more assertive, and he’s doing it kind of step by step.” Sophomore guard Kyle Guy recorded 19 points on Saturday and tops the team in scoring (17.0), draining 46.8 percent from 3-point range.
1. Virginia F Isaiah Wilkins leads the team in rebounding (6.7) and is shooting 58.8 percent from the field.
2. Savannah State G Austin Dasent made a season-high six 3-pointers against Baylor.
3. The Cavaliers are allowing opponents to shoot 36.7 percent from the field overall and 29.3 from behind the arc.
PREDICTION: Virginia 86, Savannah State 62