Maryland-Eastern Shore (3-9) at (23) Virginia (10-1)
Tuesday, December 27th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: John Paul Jones Arena (14,593) -- Charlottesville, Virginia. Television: ACC Digital Network. Home Record: UMES 3-1, Virginia 6-0. Away Record: UMES 0-6, Virginia 2-0. Neutral Record: UMES 0-2, Virginia 2-1. Conference Record: UMES 0-1, Virginia 0-0. Series Record: Virginia leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The 23rd-ranked Virginia Cavaliers have an outstanding chance to add another victory to their record before the start of ACC play when the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks come to Charlottesville this evening.
Maryland-Eastern Shore, a member of the MEAC, is 0-1 in conference action and a disappointing 3-9 overall. The Hawks have lost two of their last three games and are coming off a 64-60 setback at Air Force back on December 17.
As for Virginia, it has reeled off eight consecutive victories since its only loss of the season, a two-point setback to TCU on a neutral court. The Cavaliers beat Seattle in an 83-77 final last Wednesday and enter tonight's clash with a 10-1 overall record, including a 6-0 mark at home.
Virginia crushed UMES in the only previous meeting between the programs back in 2007.
Percy Woods scored 14 points for Maryland-Eastern Shore in the narrow loss to Air Force last time out, and Pina Guillaume pitched in 12 points off the bench. Ronald Spencer registered 11 points and eight rebounds for the Hawks, who turned the ball over 16 times and were outscored 14-7 from the foul line. The negatives overshadowed a 36-26 rebounding advantage that included a 17-9 edge on the offensive boards. While the Hawks are 3-1 at home this season, all eight of their contests away from campus have resulted in defeat. Woods is scoring a team-high 11.1 ppg this season, while Louis Bell and Spencer are netting 11.0 ppg apiece. Spencer has only played one game to date, however, so it remains to be seen if he can be a consistent scoring threat. UMES is generating 59.2 ppg this season on 38 percent field goal efficiency, and the club is permitting 71.2 ppg to opponents.
Mike Scott has clearly been the best player for Virginia this season, as he is averaging 17.1 ppg to go along with 9.9 rpg. Scott is shooting a staggering 63.3 percent from the field and over 80 percent from the foul line, impressive to say the least. The only other double-digit scorer for the Cavaliers is Joe Harris, as he brings 12.8 ppg to the court. Virginia is netting 68.2 ppg overall while limiting goes to a minuscule 51.1 ppg on 38.3 percent field goal efficiency. Strong rebounding has been key to the club's success, as it is ripping down 6.8 rpg more than the competition. Scott was sensational in the romp over Seattle last time out, as he poured in 33 points while ripping down 14 boards. Harris registered 14 points for the Cavs, who shot 55.3 percent from the floor and earned a 27-11 edge in points from the foul line.
Scott will be the best player on the floor for either team tonight, and UMES will have no answer for him down low. Expect Virginia to jump on top early and cruise to victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia 77, Maryland-Eastern Shore 58
12/27 10:31:21 ET
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