January 02, 2015

Virginia showed why it has one of the nation's stingiest defenses by ending Miami's longest win streak of the season the last time these teams met.

The third-ranked Cavaliers now seek to snap the No. 12 Hurricanes' 11-game home win streak Monday night with sole possession of second place in the ACC on the line.

Virginia and Miami have identical records of 21-5 overall and 10-4 in the conference to tie No. 11 Louisville for second, with seventh-ranked North Carolina one game in front. This is the only ACC game Monday.

The Cavaliers allow an average of 59.5 points to lead all major colleges and that kind of defense was a key to their 66-58 home win Jan. 12 over the Hurricanes, who had an eight-game win streak snapped. Miami was held to its lowest point total and 27.3 percent 3-point shooting.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 20 to lead Virginia, which held Miami top scorer Sheldon McClellan to 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting.

The Cavaliers won for the first time in seven games at Miami in their trip here last season but it wasn't easy. Virginia blew an 18-point halftime lead before pulling out an 89-80 victory in double overtime after trailing in both extra sessions.

London Perrantes scored a career-high 26 points with eight assists in that contest. The junior guard is averaging 18.0 points on 61.9 percent shooting in helping Virginia go 3-0 against Miami in his career.

The Cavaliers have not played since last Monday's 73-53 home rout of North Carolina State came two days after a 63-62 defeat at Duke ended a seven-game win streak. Brogdon scored 22 and Perrantes had 19 versus the Wolfpack.

"We know it's getting closer to March and the postseason and we want to start playing our best ball," Perrantes said. "I feel like we're starting to get into that stride and we just want to keep playing with confidence and keep playing hard."

The Cavs are hoping to get Anthony Gill untracked. Gill, second in the ACC in field-goal percentage at 55.9, is averaging 9.5 points on 43.2 percent shooting in his last four games.

"Teams are playing really well defensively on him," Perrantes said. "We have played some teams that have been really physical against him. We have some other guys that have been stepping up for us."

Miami has to regroup after never really being in contention to take over first place in the ACC in Saturday's 96-71 loss to the Tar Heels. The Hurricanes trailed by as many as 38 points and allowed season highs in points and field-goal percentage (54.2).

"They dominated us, that hasn't happened all year long," coach Jim Larranaga said. "What are we, 21-5 now? That was our 26th game and that hadn't happened to us in our 25 other games. Normally we're able to compete and play pretty well."

No Hurricane scored more than 12 points. Making matters worse, Ja'Quan Newton - one of the ACC's top scoring reserves - left with an injury.

"It appears initially that it might be a bone bruise to his shin," Larranaga said.

Virginia is an NCAA-best 4-0 against Top 25 teams.

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