Rebounding Plays Key Role in Win

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In the 2000 movie Remember the Titans there’s a line from Coach Bill Yoast that says “Jump on that ball carrier like a starving man on a Christmas ham.” It isn’t certain that the Virginia basketball players have seen that movie, but they surely would understand the meaning behind Coach Yoast’s message. Or at the very least, the Cavs have picked up on a similar mantra from Coach Dave Leitao because every player on the floor seems to rebound with an unending hunger. That insatiable desire to clean the glass, which has benefited the Hoos throughout the season, paid big dividends again Saturday as the Cavaliers dominated the rebounding category in a 75-73 win against Wake Forest.

< ?php include(getenv("DOCUMENT_ROOT") . "/sabreincludes/realMedia/boxTableRight.html"); ?>“Obviously, the rebounding margin was huge,” Leitao said. “Twenty-one offensive rebounds against the best rebounding team in the league speaks to our stick-to-itiveness. On a day where our defense didn’t play up to its potential, our rebound margin really carried us with some key offensive rebounds and by not letting them attack the glass like they’re accustomed to doing.”

“I think you all you have to do is look at the rebounding stats,” Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said. “That was the story of the game.”

Virginia easily won the battle of the boards, 47-25. The Cavaliers had nearly as many offensive rebounds (21) as the Demon Deacons had total rebounds (25). The offensive margin ended 21-5 in favor of the Hoos. That led to a 19-4 edge in second-chance points; to top it off, J.R. Reynolds’ game-winning basket came on a possession created by an O-board from Mamadi Diane . The freshman wing player finished with a career-high 10 rebounds, earning the praise of his coach and teammates.

“The guys gave him an ovation in the locker room after the game,” Leitao said. “We told them at halftime that you can make other contributions in the game. If you defend, rebound, move your feet, those kinds of things, you’ll find yourself much more involved in the game. He did a tremendous job.”

“We guarded them well, especially in the second half, except for the second shots,” Prosser said. “When you get one and they get two shots, it’s really hard to win.”