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Game Preview: Virginia Basketball vs. Lehigh

The Cavaliers host the Mountain Hawks on Friday night, looking to extend their three-game winning streak

While there is still much for the Cavaliers to improve on as they work through the non-conference schedule, in particular perimeter shooting, the Hoos took a giant step in the right direction with two strong performances in the Legends Classic on Monday and Tuesday. On the defensive end, Virginia finally looked like one of Tony Bennett’s classic defenses, smothering Providence to the tune of just 23.5% shooting from the field in a 58-40 victory over the Friars in the championship game. Virginia will look to keep the ball rolling with another strong defensive effort on Friday against Lehigh, especially with a high-powered Iowa offense coming to town on Monday night.

Game Details

Who: Virginia Cavaliers (4-2) vs. Lehigh Mountain Hawks (1-4)

When: Friday, November 26th at 7:00pm

Where: John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia

How to watch: ACC Network

All-time series: Virginia leads 3-0

Last meeting: Virginia defeated Lehigh 75-54 on December 2nd, 2017

By The Numbers

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Lehigh Mountain Hawks

VirginiaBy the NumbersLehigh

61.5

Points Per Game

65.0

55.3

Opponent PPG

71.6

41.5%

Field Goal %

42.8%

37.2%

Opponent FG %

39.7%

31.7%

Three-Point FG %

30.6%

31.2%

Opponent 3PT FG %

37.0%

0

Rebounding Margin

+2

+7

Turnover Margin

-33

Opponent Outlook: Lehigh

Lehigh began the season 0-4 before picking up its first win of the year on Tuesday against Columbia. The Mountain Hawks are potentially better than their record would indicate, however, as three of their four losses have been by 10 points or less, including a three-point overtime loss at Rutgers in the season opener.

Lehigh’s central weakness has been ball security, as the Mountain Hawks have turned the ball over 90 times so far this season, as compared to just 57 turnovers by their opponents. Lehigh’s opponents are averaging 15.4 points off of turnovers through the first five games of the season.

The Mountain Hawks have three players averaging double figures in scoring. Jeameril Wilson and Marques Wilson both average 12.0 points per game and Jeameril also averages 5.6 rebounds per game. Evan Taylor is averaging 11.2 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. As a team, Lehigh has not shot the ball very well, shooting 30.6% from three and 42.8% from the field this season. 

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What to Watch For

A continuation of Virginia’s defensive effort and execution

UVA did seem as sound on the defensive end through the first few games of the season as in years past. But, Virginia put together back-to-back solid defensive performances in Newark earlier this week and Tony Bennett’s group will be eager to keep that momentum going with games against Iowa and Pittsburgh looming in the not-so-distant future.

More lineup experimentation

Tony Bennett called his team a “work in progress” before the season started, so we expected that he may experiment with various rotations featuring different players especially in the early part of the season. I don’t think anyone expected the lineup variation to be quite this extreme through the first six games, though, as 11 different Cavaliers have played at least 15 minutes this season. The starting five has remained unchanged, but the first player off the bench has seemingly changed every game depending on the situation, from Francisco Caffaro to Taine Murray to Malachi Poindexter to Chase Coleman. Expect to see some more intriguing lineups on the floor on Friday night against Lehigh.

Tony Bennett’s 300th victory

On Friday, Tony Bennett will go for the 300th victory in his career as head coach at Virginia. In his 13th season at UVA, Bennett has a record of 299-105. This is his 16th season overall as a head coach with a record of 368-138. 


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