ACC Basketball: Wake Forest 70, Virginia 60
By Larry O’Dell
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. ó On a day when both teams’ stars struggled, Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague provided just a little bit more offense than Virginia’s Sylven Landesberg.
Teague scored just 12 points ó eight below his average ó but hit a crucial 3-pointer with 2:11 left after Virginia had pulled within 56-53 on Mike Scott’s jump hook. It was one of only two 3-pointers for Wake Forest and the only one for Teague, who finished 2-for-9 from the field.
Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio said he gave Teague a little pep talk with about 41/2 minutes left, telling him “every time you’re open I want you to shoot. And he hit a big, big 3 for us.”
Landesberg, who leads Virginia at nearly 18 points per game, had an even more frustrating afternoon. He scored just 10 points.
“When you guard Sylven, five guys have to guard him,” Gaudio said. “When he takes a dribble with the basketball, just take one step closer to him.”
The Demon Deacons (22-5, 9-5 ACC) shot poorly against Virginia’s zone defense, but they more than made up for it with dominance under the basket. They scored 22 of their first 24 points on layups, putbacks and dunks, many of them in transition. Fifteen of their rebounds came at the offensive end.
“I think rebounding is essentially an aggression statistic,” said Virginia coach Dave Leitao, clearly unhappy with Wake’s 42-28 advantage in that category. “I think every man looks at the other man sometimes to grab a rebound, and obviously that is not the proper mindset.”
Virginia (9-16, 3-11) was without its most imposing inside presence, 7-foot center Assane Sene, who injured an ankle in Thursday night’s loss to Miami. Sene, who leads Virginia with 34 blocked shots, was replaced in the starting lineup by Tunji Saroye, whose only field goal of the game gave the Cavaliers their only lead at 2-0.
After Saroye’s layup, Wake Forest went on an 8-0 run. The Cavaliers, who’ve gotten off to a lot of slow starts this season, committed five turnovers in the first four minutes and trailed 30-24 at the half.
Wake Forest scored the first four points of the second half, but Virginia responded with a 12-3 run to pull within one at 37-36. Landesberg had six points in the spurt, including his first basket on a runner with 17:48 left.
Harvey Hale answered with a 3-pointer to start a 7-0 Wake Forest run, and the Cavaliers could get no closer than three the rest of the way. The Demon Deacons, who had been awful from the free-throw line, hit their last nine foul shots to close out the win.
Al-Farouq Aminu and Chas McFarland scored 12 points for the Deacons.
Calvin Baker led Virginia with 13 points. Mamadi Diane added 12 in just 17 minutes off the bench.