Toothless Tigers pay visit to red-hot Cavaliers

Dec 30, 2011 - 3:41 PM Charlottesville, VA (Sports Network) - The 23rd-ranked Virginia Cavaliers are heavily favored in tonight's non-conference matchup with the Towson Tigers, who have yet to win a game this season.

All 12 outings for Towson have resulted in defeat, including 11 double-digit defeats. The team was most recently in action last Friday when it dropped a 65-49 decision to Vermont in front of a deflated home crowd. The Tigers have played just one Colonial Athletic Association game thus far, a 12-point setback to George Mason.

As for Virginia, a member of the ACC, it has yet to play a league game but certainly looks to be a threat to the traditional conference powers. The Cavaliers are off to a stellar 11-1 start and have won their last nine outings since the lone defeat, a two-point setback to TCU on a neutral court. On Tuesday, the Cavs crushed Maryland-Eastern Shore as expected in a 69-42 final.

Virginia has won all four of its previous meetings with Towson, including a 94-66 romp over the Tigers back in 1994.

Towson has struggled at both ends of the court this season, as the team is only scoring 52.8 ppg on 37.9 percent field goal efficiency while allowing 75.7 ppg to opponents. Robert Nwankwo leads the Tigers with 12.3 ppg and 8.8 rpg, as he has represented the lone bright spot. Marcus Damas is close behind in scoring with his 12.1 ppg, but it is hard to get too excited over his 38.7 percent field goal efficiency, or the fact that he has nearly three times as many turnovers as assists. In the 16-point loss to Vermont last week, Towson shot just 37.8 percent from the field and even struggled from the foul line. Deon Jones led the way in defeat with 11 points, while Damas finished with 10.

Mike Scott has been stellar for Virginia so far this season, as he is netting 17.1 ppg on 63.6 percent shooting from the field and 80.5 percent from the foul line. More than just a scorer, Scott is also ripping down 9.6 rpg. Joe Harris is the only other double-digit scorer for Virginia with his 12.6 ppg, and the team is generating 68.2 ppg. Clearly, however, strong defense has been the most obvious key to the 11-1 start, as the Cavs are holding foes to 50.3 ppg on 37.3 percent shooting. Against UMES earlier this week, Virginia was downright dominant defensively, limiting its overmatched opponent to 27.8 percent field goal efficiency. The Cavs, who hit 50 percent of their own shots, got 17 points from Scott. The club racked up 22 assists while committing only 10 turnovers.

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