Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Virginia enjoying comforts of home, set to host Texas Southern

Field Level Media
16 Nov 2023, 13:19 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Unbeaten Virginia will once again be a huge home favorite on Thursday night as winless Texas Southern comes to Charlottesville, Va.

Coach Tony Bennett wants his Cavaliers (3-0) to show the same activity and intensity against the Tigers (0-2) as they did throughout Tuesday's 80-51 home win against North Carolina AT.

Virginia jumped out to 28-8 advantage and built a 49-19 halftime edge against the Aggies, adding 6-0 and 9-0 runs in the second half to maintain the massive lead.

"We got off to a big lead and just challenged them to just stay true to who they were and then play with the kind of passion and the identity that shouldn't change regardless of the opponent," Bennett said.

Leon Bond III scored 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting off the bench and Ryan Dunn delivered his first career double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds) to lead the Cavaliers. Reserve Jacob Groves added 11 points and nine boards as 10 different Virginia players scored.

Texas Southern is coming off a 63-52 loss at Arizona State on Saturday. The Tigers were within 40-38 with less than 13 minutes remaining, but the Sun Devils answered with a 7-0 run to regain control.

PJ Henry scored 12 points -- on 5-of-24 shooting -- to lead coach Johnny Jones' squad, a participant in each of the past three NCAA Tournaments.

"We think the group of guys that we have right now are a great fit for what we are trying to do and what we are trying to accomplish," Jones said.

Virginia guard Isaac McKneely left Tuesday's game late in the first half with an apparent ankle injury after a collision with a North Carolina AT player. He was on the sideline in the second half wearing a boot on his left foot and is not expected to play Thursday.

Bennett said X-rays confirmed nothing was broken. The sophomore started the first three games and averaged 10.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

The Cavaliers return to action Monday against Wisconsin in the Fort Myers Tip-Off in Florida. The Tigers continue a challenging nonconference schedule on Saturday at No. 8 Creighton.

--Field Level Media

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