GAME NOTES: The Virginia Cavaliers have won seven consecutive games, and will try for an eighth as they host the Maryland Terrapins in Atlantic Coast Conference action at John Paul Jones Arena.
Maryland has won three of its last four games, including an 83-71 victory over Florida State in the team's latest outing Saturday. The Terps are 6-5 in conference play, good for seventh in the league standings.
The Cavaliers have won seven straight and 10 of their last 11 matchups - all of which have come in conference play. Virginia is coming off a strong defensive showing against Georgia Tech Saturday, as the Cavs held the Yellow Jackets to just 45 points in a 63-45 victory. Virginia is 10-1 in the ACC, just behind league-leading Syracuse (10-0).
Still, Maryland has a pretty firm hold on the all-time series with Virginia, 106-73. But the Cavaliers are 45-41 all-time at home against the Terps in a series that dates back to 1912.
Maryland dominated the first half of play against Florida State Saturday, as the Terrapins ran to a 46-29 halftime lead and never looked back. The Seminoles outscored Maryland in the second half, but could never make a real dent in the lead. Seth Allen drained 11-of-15 shooting from the floor for a team-high 32 points in the contest, netting 7-of-11 from 3-point range. Dez Wells chipped in 15 points with six assists, and Jake Layman scored 12 in the victory. Maryland shot 51.9 percent from the floor in the game.
With the 32-point outburst, Allen improved his scoring average this season to 12.3 ppg on 39.7 percent shooting, which is good for second on the Terrapins behind Wells. Allen though, has only played in 12 games this season compared to Wells's 24. Wells averages 15.2 ppg this season, and is second on the team in assists with 51. Roddy Peters leads the squad in that category with 61 total on the year. Layman is tied with Allen for second in scoring at 12.3 ppg.
The first half of Saturday's matchup with Georgia Tech didn't exactly go Virginia's way. The Cavs were outscored in the period, 30-29, and connected on just 36.7 percent shooting in the frame. But the defense stepped up in the second half, allowing Georgia Tech to score only 15 points, while the Cavs amassed 35 points for the comeback win. Malcolm Brogdon notched a double- double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and both Joe Harris and Anthony Gill chipped in 11 points. Virginia shot just 39.6 percent in the game, but limited the Yellow Jackets to 26.1 percent shooting in the second period.
Brogdon still leads the team in scoring this season with a 12.1 ppg average on 43.5 percent shooting from the field. His 5.8 rpg mark is second only to Akil Mitchell's 6.8 rpg. Harris is the second and only other player to average double-digit point totals this season with 11.3 ppg for the Cavaliers. London Perrantes leads the team with 87 assists on the year.
Maryland has proven to be a tough opponents for a handful of teams this season, but has struggled to string any sort of win streak together since conference play started. The Cavaliers are beating teams with strong defense, and if they can take Wells out of the equation, it will be the Cavs' game to lose.
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