Dec. 7, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia hosts Mississippi Valley State in men's college basketball action on Saturday, Dec. 8 at John Paul Jones Arena. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m.
The game will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network and webcast on ESPN3.
Virginia (7-2) extended its winning streak to six games with a 46-38 victory over Tennessee in nonconference action on Dec. 5. The Cavaliers have also defeated Seattle (83-43), Lamar (63-44), North Texas (80-64), Wisconsin (60-54) and Green Bay (67-51) during the winning streak.
Mississippi Valley State will be playing its first game since falling 75-50 at LSU on Nov. 24. The Delta Devils (0-4), who will be playing their fifth consecutive road contest, have also lost to Ole Miss (93-57), Cincinnati (102-60) and Northwestern (81-68).
Virginia will meet Mississippi Valley State and a Southwestern Athletic Conference opponent for the first time.
The Cavaliers have averaged 66.5 points per game and allowed just 49 ppg during their season-best winning streak. Overall, the Cavaliers rank third nationally in scoring defense at 51.2 ppg.
Junior guard Joe Harris (Chelan, Wash.) and junior forward Akil Mitchell (Charlotte, N.C.) continue to lead the way for Virginia. Harris and Mitchell are each averaging career highs in scoring and rebounding.
Harris ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring at 16.1 points per game and has scored in doubles figures in eight of nine games. Harris is also averaging 4.4 rebounds per game to go along with his career-best 45.5 percent (20-44) three-point shooting accuracy.
Mitchell is averaging 12.7 points per game and ranks fourth in the ACC with 9.7 rebounds per game. Mitchell posted his fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds against Tennessee.
Sophomore forward Darion Atkins (Clinton, Md.) has added 7.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, while forward Evan Nolte (Milton, Ga.) leads Virginia freshmen in scoring at 6.3 points per game off the bench.
Senior guard Jontel Evans (Hampton, Va.) will miss his sixth game of the season after aggravating a foot injury against Tennessee. Redshirt freshman Teven Jones (Kannapolis, N.C.) is expected to start at point guard in place of Evans. Jones has averaged a respectable 4.5 points and 2.5 assists per game in six contests.
The Cavaliers have held their opponents under 43 percent shooting from the field during the last eight games and are 7-1 when holding opponents under 50 percent shooting. Virginia has also shot 70 percent or better from the free-throw line in all seven wins.
Virginia head coach Tony Bennett sports a 60-43 record, including a 39-16 nonconference mark, in four seasons at UVa.
Mississippi Valley State is averaging 58.8 points per game and allowing 87.8 ppg. Junior guard Davon Usher leads the Delta Devils in scoring at 20.8 points per game. The Baltimore, Md., native scored 35 points against Northwestern and has led the Delta Devils in scoring in each of the first four games.
Matt Smith has added 7.8 points and a team-leading 7.5 rebounds per game, while Darryl Marshall has chipped in 6.8 points per game and is shooting 46 percent from three-point range.
Chico Potts is in his first year as head coach at Mississippi Valley State after spending the last four seasons as the primary assistant under former Delta Devils head coach Sean Woods, who left for the same position at Morehead State.
Single-game tickets for Virginia's game with Mississippi Valley State are available and can be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com/tickets. Tickets may also be purchased on game day at the JPJA box office starting at 2:30 p.m.
Fans may also purchase tickets for the Virginia-Mississippi Valley State game through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office by telephone and in person. The ticket office is located in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium and open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Telephone purchases can be made by calling 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821) or locally at 434-924-UVA1 (8821).