FACTS & STATS: Site: John Paul Jones Arena (14,593) -- Charlottesville, Virginia. Television: RSN, NESN. Home Record: Boston College 7-4, Virginia 11-2. Away Record: Boston College 2-3, Virginia 2-3. Neutral Record: Boston College 0-2, Virginia 0-1. Conference Record: Boston College 1-4, Virginia 3-2. Series Record: Virginia leads, 8-6.
GAME NOTES: The Virginia Cavaliers return to John Paul Jones Arena with some momentum as they take on the Boston College Eagles in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.
The Cavaliers own an 8-6 all-time series lead after their 66-49 win over the Eagles in Charlottesville last season.
Tony Bennett's Cavaliers notched their second win in a row with a 74-58 victory at Virginia Tech on Thursday. The decision rose Virginia to a 13-5 overall record including its 3-2 mark in ACC action and also its 11-2 home record. The Cavaliers are allowing a mere 51.1 points per game to rank second in the nation in scoring defense.
Still, the team has a capable inside/outside game in the form of guard Joe Harris and forward Akil Mitchell. Harris leads the team in scoring at 15.3 ppg and is shooting .477 from behind the arc (41-of-86). Mitchell nets 12.1 ppg and ranks among the ACC's best in rebounding (fourth in the conference at 9.0 rpg). Freshman forward Evan Nolte set new career-highs with 18 points and four steals versus Virginia Tech. Harris tallied 17 points, as the team assisted 21 of its 26 makes from the field.
Boston College is just 1-4 in ACC games, but is has not gone quietly to its unimpressive league record. The Eagles lost their contests to NC State, Wake Forest, Miami-Florida, and Maryland by a combined 13 points. They nearly upset the first-place Hurricanes at home and held their own on Tuesday in College Park. Ryan Anderson and Olivier Hanlan combined for 37 points and 14 rebounds and Lonnie Jackson chipped in nine points versus the Terps, but the rest of the squad went just 4-of-20 from the field.
Anderson paces the Eagles with 16.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. The 6- foot-8 sophomore is the only post player in the starting five, which is a big reason why Maryland held a 34-12 advantage in points in the paint. Hanlan and Joe Rahon are both contributing double-digit scoring averages as freshmen with 13.9 and 10.4 points per game, respectively. Jackson also provides 10.3 ppg, but Boston College is just seventh in the ACC in scoring at 68.8 ppg. Coach Steve Donahue's team is nowhere near as solid defensively as the hosts. Boston College is allowing its opposition to drain 36.4 percent from beyond the arc, which could come into play against a Virginia team that hit 11 from 3-point range on Thursday.
The Eagles have been able to hang tough with their opposition lately but do not seem able to get over the hill. Virginia is going to make BC's possessions very difficult, which could help the hosts create a comfortable margin on the scoreboard in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia 67, Boston College 57
01/26 10:40:16 ET
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