Virginia Tech (11-12) at Virginia (17-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 12, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: John Paul Jones Arena (15,219) -- Charlottesville, Virginia. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Virginia Tech 8-6, Virginia 14-1. Away Record: Virginia Tech 2-4, Virginia 3-4. Neutral Record: Virginia Tech 1-2, Virginia 0-1. Conference Record: Virginia Tech 2-8, Virginia 7-3. Series Record: Virginia leads, 83-53.
GAME NOTES: Intrastate rivals are set to collide as the Virginia Tech Hokies visit John Paul Jones Arena for an Atlantic Coast Conference bout with their rival Virginia Cavaliers.
The series dates back to 1915 and the two schools have met at least once every year since 1961. The Cavaliers lead the all-time series, 83-53. Virginia has won the last two meetings, including a 74-58 win in Cassell Coliseum on Jan. 24.
The Hokies' 16-point loss to the Cavaliers kick started a six-game slide that was extended Saturday with a 64-54 loss to Georgia Tech. The stretch of setbacks dropped Virginia Tech to an 11-12 overall record and a 2-8 mark in ACC action. Despite the lack of overall success, senior guard Erick Green is shining as the nation's leading scorer with 25.3 ppg. The 6-foot-3 senior guard has produced 28.5 ppg on 19-of-43 shooting from the floor over his last two outings.
In their loss to Georgia Tech, Green scored a game-high 28 points, but a slow start hurt the Hokies. They fell behind by as many as 22 points in the first half before attempting to close the gap after the break. Virginia Tech's 18 first-half points marked its fewest in any half this season. The Hokies, coming off a tough, late Thursday night loss to Maryland, hit just six shots in the first half and shot 20.7 percent (6 of 29) from the floor. In the contest, Virginia Tech shot a season-low 30.6 percent (19 of 62).
Virginia picked up its sixth win in seven games in convincing fashion on Sunday, earning a 80-69 decision at Maryland in College Park. The victory kept the Cavaliers in third-place in the ACC standings, now at 7-3. Junior guard Joe Harris continued his stellar campaign against the Tigers with 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor. Harris is leading Virginia with 15.9 ppg and knocked down 47.0 percent of his attempts from distance.
In the victory over the Terrapins, Justin Anderson accounted for 17 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers, followed by Akil Mitchell and Paul Jesperson with 13 and 12 points, respectively, as the team won for the second time in a row. Jontel Evans logged eight assists, to go along with five points and five rebounds for Tony Bennett's unit. Virginia leads the ACC in scoring defense with an allowed average of only 52.2 ppg. Its defensive prowess was apparent against the Terrapins, who shot just 29.4 percent from beyond the arc and committed 13 turnovers.
Although Green is an undeniable talent, Virginia Tech lacks the depth to compete with the elite programs in the ACC. Last week, the Cavaliers showed how much better they are on their own floor by avenging a loss to Clemson with a rout of the Tigers. The matchup between these schools was not close in Blacksburg, odds are that the Charlottesville location will only widen the gap.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia 66, Virginia Tech 50
02/12 10:35:58 ET