Bradley Ends Cavs’ CBI Run

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Sean Singletary scored 17 points in his final game at Virginia.

Well, it sure was fun while it lasted.

Virginia’s run in the inaugural College Basketball Invitational screeched to a halt on Wednesday night as a sharp-shooting Bradley team dumped the Hoos, 96-85, simultaneously closing the curtain on the career of Sean Singletary . The final farewell wasn’t the stuff of sugar plum dreams as the Cavaliers finished with a home loss and a 17-16 record.

Singletary, of course, was joined for his final game in the John Paul Jones Arena by fellow seniors Adrian Joseph , Ryan Pettinella, and Tunji Soroye , the last of whom may get a hardship year, pending offseason developments. UVa coach Dave Leitao said it is always tough when it’s the time finally comes for seniors to end their careers.

“With Sean, you are saying goodbye to, after 24 years of coaching, one of the greatest young people that I have ever met, and that is hard, very hard to swallow because in a hundred years you may never see that again,” Leitao said. “To see your seniors, the four of them, have to say goodbye, you feel bad for them because as a young person you think there is never an end to it, and now that you are here, you have to understand that as a young guy, and that is a cruel thing. You saw it last night unfortunately with Coach Ryan’s group, and Sharnée [Zoll] having to have her career come to an end very unfortunately.”

Singletary wrapped up his final night with 17 points, 8 assists, and his first block of the season. With a portion of the scoring production coming with the outcome all but decided, the star guard said afterward that it was an “off” night he said where he just couldn’t get things going on offense. Still, he scored in double figures for the 55th consecutive game, the longest streak in school history, while also moving into a tie for 27th on the ACC’s career scoring list with 2,079 points. Singletary also took over third place on UVa’s career 3-pointers made list and finished the season with 202 assists, the third most in school history for a single season.

Singletary is also the only player in ACC history to record at least 2,000 points, 500 assists, 400 rebounds, and 200 steals. The crowd applauded him as he walked off the court and chanted his name. But as the proverbial saying goes, all good things must end. Singletary disappeared through the tunnel a final time while giving high fives to a few Hoo fans hanging over the railing to squeeze out every last moment.

“It’s disappointing every time you don’t get to play in the NCAA Tournament. As it were, something new came up, and it gave us the opportunity to play again. It’s a privilege and an opportunity for us to show the fans our appreciation,” Singletary said. “It would have been nice to win the tournament, but you can’t dwell in the past, whether good or bad. It’s good to have memories, but there always comes a time to move on.”

Also moving on for certain are Pettinella and Joseph. Pettinella, a mid-career transfer, closed with 6 points and 3 rebounds in his final Cavalier contest. Joseph, meanwhile, ended his run as a Hoo on a high note, pouring in 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting to go with 3 assists and 1 steal. Joseph’s trio of 3-pointers moved him into seventh place on UVa’s career 3-pointers made list with 158; he surpassed Donald Hand and Todd Billet, who both made 156.

“I came out with the same mentality that I come out with every game, confident and shooting the ball, but tonight my shots were going in,” Joseph said. “So it was a good game for me, but as a team, we couldn’t pull through and unfortunately the season is over.”

Jeff Jones scored a career-high 26 points in the loss.

The season is over because Bradley (20-15) burned the Cavs’ defense time and time again in the second half, pulling away after the two teams were tied at 42 at intermission and at 58 with 11:53 remaining. After consistently missing shots in the first half (15 of 37, 40.5%), the Braves made 17 of 30 shots in the second half, a telling 56.7%. The hot shooting included making 6 of 12 3-pointers after intermission, including 5 of their first 8 attempts from outside the arch.

Leading the way was first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference guard Jeremy Crouch. The 6’5″ senior poured in 21 second-half points, which included a perfect 5-of-5 showing from 3-point range. Before intermission, Crouch had missed all seven of his 3-point attempts and 14 total shots, but it didn’t cause him to shy away. As he said afterward, shooters shoot so that’s exactly what he kept doing in the second half and UVa couldn’t come up with an answer.

“Well I went in and washed my hands and tried to let it all go. Coach has always had a lot of confidence in me and in our guards. I got some pretty good looks to get me going – Matt [Salley] got two big plays that really got me going: he got a rebound and he got me a wide-open, in-rhythm three,” Crouch said. “It means a lot [to come on the road and win in an ACC arena], and mostly that I can put this jersey on again. … The ACC is a great conference, this is a great school and a great team – so we had a lot of respect for Virginia coming into this game. We were looking forward to this one and having some fun tonight.”

Crouch’s hot shooting at least partially stole the thunder from Cavalier freshman Jeff Jones , who had an outstanding night offensively as well. Jones scored a career-high 26 points on an impressive 9-of-14 shooting; he made 6 of 8 3-point attempts. The six trifectas were more than he had in the other 19 home games of the season (3). He made as many 3’s in the CBI as he had previously made the rest of the season (8). Jones also had five rebounds.

“The hard work pays off. My first year was a whole bunch of ups and downs, but the main thing that I have to do it stay focused and be committed and keep working hard,” he said. “You’re always going to have ups and downs – not everybody is Michael Jordan or LeBron James. I’m just going to stay focused.”

Statistics | UVa Media Relations Notes

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