GAME NOTES: The Virginia Cavaliers have won three straight games and six of their last seven, and will try to extend that streak as they travel to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Atlantic Coast Conference action at Purcell Pavilion.
Two three-game win streaks in ACC play are separated by a loss to Duke - the only ACC loss of the season - for Virginia. The Cavaliers are coming off a 65-45 blowout win over Virginia Tech. At 6-1 in the conference, the Cavs are a half-game behind Syracuse for the conference lead.
Notre Dame has lost two consecutive games, and five of its last six altogether. The Fighting Irish are 2-5 in conference play this season, but managed to beat Duke at the start of ACC play. The Irish are coming off a 65-58 loss to Wake Forest Saturday.
Virginia holds the all-time series lead over Notre Dame, 5-1. These two programs will meet again in the regular season on Feb. 22.
Virginia closed the first half on a 21-6 run against Virginia Tech that allowed for some second-half breathing room. The Cavaliers were able to cruise to a 20-point victory over their intra-state rivals. Malcolm Brogdon had a team-best 18 points in the win for Virginia, while Joe Harris contributed 12 points. A 54.5 percent shooting mark in the first half aided the Cavaliers in the win, in which they connected on 43.5 percent of their shots in the game.
Harris and Brogdon are the two top scorers this season for Virginia, and the only two players averaging double-digit point totals. Harris paces the team with 11.6 ppg on 48.7 percent shooting from the field, while Brogdon is an extremely close second at 11.4 ppg. Center Mike Tobey leads the Cavs in rebounding (6.5 rpg), and London Perrantes tops the squad with 74 assists on the year. The Cavaliers are averaging just 66.9 ppg this season, but play spectacular defense, holding their opponents to 56.2 ppg.
Notre Dame's Garrick Sherman hit a free throw with 2:24 remaining in the game that gave the Irish a lead over Wake Forest, but the Demon Deacons grabbed the lead back just moments later and held onto it for the remainder of the contest. Sherman led the Fighting Irish in the game with 20 points and six rebounds, while Eric Atkins chipped in 13 points and a team-best six assists. Pat Connaughton also scored 10 in the losing effort.
Sherman is Notre Dame's active leader in scoring with 15.2 ppg on 52.3 percent shooting from the floor. His 8.3 rpg and 17 blocked shots is also best on the Fighting Irish this year. Atkins (14.2 ppg) and Connaughton (13.6 ppg) are second and third on the team this season in scoring numbers. Jerian Grant (academics) will remain out once again. Austin Burgett (irregular heartbeat) will also be on the sidelines for this game.
Notre Dame is a strong home team, but has struggled since conference play has gotten underway. Virginia, on the other hand, has played lights out on the defensive end and has cruised to a 6-1 ACC record. That should be bettered after this road contest.
Game Date and Time