It may have been a cold rainy day here in Charlottesville, but the Virginia Men’s Basketball team brought the heat to the John Paul Jones Arena Tuesday night in their home opener against Towson. Meeting for the sixth time in a series that dates back to 1985-86, the No.5 Virginia Cavaliers rolled past the Towson Tigers in a 73-42 victory. The victory runs the Hoos’ all-time record against the Tigers 6-0.
Although the game started out rather slow for the Wahoos (28-19 UVa at the half), they quickly found their familiar rhythm in the second half. Reminding fans of their infamous defense, the ‘Hoos totaled 18 points from capitalizing on turnovers.
Culminating a total of 20 points, veteran guard Ty Jerome lead the Cavaliers to their first victory of the 2018-19 season. In the postgame press conference, Virginia head coach Tony Bennett admitted, “some nights, your offense just has to ignite your offense. Ty has pretty deep range and he is not afraid to shoot it.” Other returning players who helped ignite the Virginia offense include De’Andre Hunter (13 points) and Jay Huff (eight points).
New Faces on the Court
Freshman Kihei Clark showcased his almost natural ability to assimilate into Tony Bennett’s squad by leading the ‘Hoos in assists (six). The ‘Hoos doubled the Tigers bench points (22-11). And if the crowd wasn’t fired up enough, Bennett spiced things up for the last few minutes by taking Austin Katstra, Jayden Nixon, Kody Stattmann and Grant Kersey off the bench.
The newest member of the @UVAMensHoops roster: Albemarle HS grad Grant Kersey will be in uniform for home games. In his third year as a #Hoos manager. pic.twitter.com/79JdzEchCq
— Damon Dillman (@DamonDillman) November 6, 2018
The Charlottesville native and newest member of the UVA Men’s Hoops roster Kersey, in his third year as one of the Hoos manager, dressed in uniform and got to step in to play for the last minute and a half of play in the second period. Bennett’s decision to put Kersey on the court overjoyed the crowd and many cheers and applause filled the arena.
Bennett said, “it’s a new year and it’s a new team, it didn’t feel any different to me than any other starts to the year. I was just excited for Kody, Kihei, Jayden and Grant. It is really awesome for them the first time in a college game that they touch the floor.”
On the Horizon
It was definitely an exhilarating day to be a Wahoo. There’s nothing like experiencing the joy that comes with being a UVA men’s basketball fan. After a few days off, the ‘Hoos will once again open the doors of JPJ to fans on Sunday when they take on the George Washington Colonials.
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