Thursday , Mar , 01 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Instate rivals meet in critical ACC tilt

Charlottesville, VA (Sports Network) – The 21st-ranked Virginia Tech
Hokies and the Virginia Cavaliers are two of the three teams tied for
first place in the ACC standings, making today’s meeting in
Charlottesville one to watch.

Tech has won its last two games to move to 20-8 overall and 10-4 in
conference play. They knocked off Miami on Saturday by a 73-57 final,
and that win was preceded by a 17-point romp over Boston College. Still,
keep in mind that the Hokies are a mediocre 4-4 in true road games.

Virginia has won three of its last four outings and has a chance to
reach the 20-win plateau if it can score a victory tonight. The
Cavaliers knocked off Georgia Tech on Saturday by a 75-69 final and are
now a stellar 15-1 at home.

Keep in mind that Virginia Tech crushed rival Virginia by an 84-57
final on February 10th, overshadowing the fact that the Cavs still own a
commanding 77-47 advantage in the all-time series.

Zabian Dowdell is scoring 18.1 ppg to lead Virginia Tech, and he has posted
94 assists and 62 steals while shooting 41.8 percent from three-point range
and 82.6 percent from the foul line. Deron Washington adds 11.9 ppg for the
Hokies, who are getting 11.4 ppg from both Jamon Gordon and A.D.
Vassallo. Tech is posting 73.6 ppg this season while holding opponents to
64.2 ppg on 41 percent shooting from the floor. Also key to the success of the
Hokies is the fact that they have forced 123 more turnovers than they have
committed. In the 16-point victory over Miami last time out, Virginia Tech
shot 49 percent from the floor while limiting the Hurricanes to 36.8
percent overall efficiency. Also, the Hokies committed just eight giveaways,
seven fewer than their counterparts.

It is no secret that Sean Singletary and J.R. Reynolds are the keys
to Virginia’s success, as those two players form one of the nation’s
most explosive duos. Singletary is netting 18.6 ppg to go along with 126
assists, and while he is shooting a lackluster 39.9 percent from the
floor, his 39.1 percent efficiency from three-point range and 89 percent
accuracy from the foul line are both impressive. As for Reynolds, he
checks in with 18.5 ppg, including 21.1 ppg in league play. Reynolds
exploded for 25 points in Saturday’s victory over Georgia Tech, and
Singletary was close behind with 24 points despite 7-of-21 overall
shooting. The Cavaliers committed five fewer turnovers than the Yellow
Jackets while also scoring five more points from the foul line.