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Virginia seeking bounce-back win against Morgan State

virginia-seeking-bounce-back-win-against-morgan-state

After getting knocked out of the Top 25 with a lopsided loss at Memphis, Virginia tries to regroup at home against Morgan State in its final nonconference game Wednesday night in Charlottesville, Va.

The Cavaliers (9-2) had the holiday break to dwell on a 77-54 setback at then-No. 23 Memphis on Dec. 19 that snapped their five-game winning streak.

Morgan State arrives in town following Friday’s 89-75 loss to No. 20 James Madison. It was the second straight loss and ninth in the last 11 games for the Bears (4-10).

The wire-to-wire defeat at Memphis was the first road game for the Cavaliers. Virginia is 7-0 at home and Morgan State is 0-8 in road games and at neutral sites.

Memphis scored 27 points off Virginia’s season-high 18 turnovers.

“When they made some plays with their athleticism and disrupted us, then all of a sudden we made some uncharacteristic (mistakes),” Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett said. “We couldn’t even dribble, pass, make a simple play, and then that just sort of snowballed, and they took advantage.”

Despite the humbling loss to the Tigers, the stingy Cavaliers still rank second in the nation in scoring defense (55.5 points per game), are tied for fourth in turnovers (8.9) and sixth in field-goal percentage defense (36.9 percent).

Reece Beekman leads Virginia with 12.5 points, 5.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Isaac McKneely averages 11.7 points and is shooting 50.0 percent (27-of-54) from 3-point distance.

Morgan State held a 58-56 lead in the second half against unbeaten James Madison before the Dukes pulled away. Will Thomas scored 20 points to lead the Bears, who also got 16 from Kamron Hobbs and 14 from Rob Lawson.

“When you’re good, you figure out a way to win,” Morgan State coach Kevin Broadus said of JMU. “That’s what I think they did today.”

Leading scorer Wynston Tabbs (16.4 points per game) has missed the Bears’ last three games with an injury and his status for Wednesday night is uncertain.

–Field Level Media

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