Hoos Topple Terps For 22nd Win

UVa’s Mike Scott posted his 33rd career double-double.

Virginia flirted with another disappointing late-game collapse on Sunday, but the team’s seniors produced monster games and the Hoos came through with an important overtime win against Maryland in College Park. The Cavaliers’ Mike Scott and Sammy Zeglinski combined for 55 points, including 8 in the decisive OT period, to lead the way to a 75-72 victory.

At 22-8, UVa posted its most regular season wins since 1982-83 when that team won 25 games before the start of postseason play. Scott told his teammates to find a way to close out the game and get another win in the books before overtime began.

“Just don’t come out of here with a loss. That was the only thing we were saying. We have to come out with a win,” Scott said. “I was telling my teammates that what happened in the Florida State game couldn’t happen again.”

Against Florida State on Thursday night, the Hoos led by 11 points with 4:33 remaining only to see the lead evaporate as the Seminoles rallied to win on a last-second 3-point shot. Sunday’s game had a similar feeling down the stretch.

This time UVa took a 53-41 lead with 8:11 to play when Zeglinski made a layup to force a Maryland timeout. It wasn’t enough to shake the Terps. They made a mini-run to get within four, but at the 5:51 mark the lead remained at 8 points. Then the hosts made a final push with a combination of quick offense and fullcourt pressure while the Cavaliers missed 4 free throws (Scott and Jontel Evans ) and a layup (Darion Atkins ). In the final 15 seconds, Zeglinski and the ACC’s leading scorer Terrell Stoglin traded a pair of jumper to tie the game at 61-61 and send it to overtime when both teams missed potential game-winning baskets. For UVa, Atkins’ missed layup on an inbounds lob could have won the game; for Maryland, Stoglin’s running shot from just across halfcourt hit the front iron.

In overtime, Virginia’s seniors provided 8 of the team’s 14 points to get their team to victory. Not surprisingly, Scott – the Hoos’ go-to man – provided 6 big ones in the extra session. At 2:21, he took a post-up move to the middle of the lane while stepping through a double team to make a tough shot from about 12 feet. On the next trip, he made a face-up jumper from about 17 feet to give the Hoos a 69-63 lead at 1:50. He added 2 free throws to help ice the win too.

Scott was heavily involved in what may have been the key basket of overtime too. Maryland cut the lead to 69-67 with 44 seconds to go in overtime, but it had a major defensive mistake on UVa’s final field goal. The Hoos ran a side screen-and-roll play with Evans and Scott with Evans driving toward the baseline with his right hand. The Terps’ Alex Len, responsible for Scott, hedged toward the baseline as Evans came off the screen, but seemed too concerned with Scott to stay in Evans’ path. That led to an uncontested driving lane and layup for Evans that gave UVa a 71-67 margin. That forced Maryland into a fouling situation and Virginia finally put the game away at the stripe.

“Mike’s performance? Terrific,” Bennett said. “Look at that statistically and at the tough shots he made, and how physical they were being with him. Getting the ball and playing 44 minutes, he’s done some great things for us this year. To keep answering and making shots – he’s got a specialty with that shot when he fades away, you can’t get to it. I think that will bode well for his future.”

For Scott, the overtime period was just a microcosm of what proved to be another virtuoso performance. After all, he scored at least 20 points in ACC play for the seventh time this season and put up a “20-10” game for the fifth time this season. Scott finished with a career-high 35 points on 11-of-20 shooting and 13 of 18 free throws. He added 11 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 blocked shot too.

With those numbers, Scott moved into 16th place on UVa’s career scoring list with 1,500 points to pass Donald Hand (1,486, 1998-01) and Othell Wilson (1,469, 1981-84). He’s the 33rd player in ACC history to record 1,500 career points and 900 career rebounds.

“What it really comes down to is Mike Scott. He was the best player on the floor. He made play after play,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “We started to double him and he just stepped out further. I thought our defense was [better] on him in the second half then the first half. We had some silly fouls against him. He was just the best player out there today and that is why they won.”

The Hoos’ Sammy Zeglinski knocked down 4 of 9 shots from 3-point range.

Certainly, Zeglinski playing the Robin role to Scott’s Batman figured heavily in the outcome as well. Struggling with his shooting touch and receiving quite a bit of criticism from Cavalier fans at times this season, Zeglinski answered the bell on Sunday.

The senior guard poured in 20 points on 6-of-14 shooting, which included 4 of 9 from beyond the arc. He also made 4 of 6 free throws. Zeglinski added 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal as well. Plus, he hit what turned out to be a critical shot with 14 seconds to go in regulation. With the shot clock sitting below 10 seconds and Virginia coming out of a timeout, Zeglinski hit a pull-up jumper – with his foot just over the 3-point line unfortunately – to give his team a 61-58 lead. When Stoglin hit a 3-pointer just moments later, that made jumper turned out to be huge or it could have been another stay in heartbreak hotel for the Hoos.

“On their Senior Night they didn’t get to celebrate the way they wanted to, so you know the best way to celebrate is to play great basketball,” Bennett said. “I think both of them, certainly Mike [Scott], played great and left the game on the floor today. That’s as sweet as it gets. I’m happy for both of them. They certainly did the job.”

Getting the job done could prove pivotal to the Cavaliers’ chances in the ACC Tournament. With the win, this year’s Virginia club clinched the No. 4 seed and a first round bye in the league tourney, which begins on Thursday.

“I think that is important because we practice with six guys that play the game. We are trying to get as much rest as we can if you look at the minutes. That’s where we’re at. We have six guys to rest and get as prepared as we can,” Bennett said. “That was important for us to win and get that seed and the Friday game. So our guys stepped up when we needed them to.”

Final Stats