Tennessee State comes calling on No. 8 Virginia

Nov 25, 2014 - 5:05 PM Charlottesville, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - The eighth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers close out a four-game homestand on Tuesday evening, as they play host to the Tennessee State Tigers at John Paul Jones Arena.

The defending ACC champions have looked sharp in the early going this season, as Tony Bennett's Cavs are once again playing stifling defense. Virginia has won four straight games to begin the new campaign and enters this contest off last week's 59-42 win over George Washington.

Tennessee State has alternated wins and losses through its first four games and enters this contest off Sunday's 78-46 rout at the hands of Vanderbilt in Nashville. Dana Ford is in his first season with the Tigers, who went an ugly 5-25 a year ago playing out of the Ohio Valley Conference.

This marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs on the hardwood.

The Tigers hung around for much of the first half against Vanderbilt, but allowed the Commodores to build an 18-point lead at the break and were unable to get back in the game in the second half on Sunday. TSU shot just .327 from the floor in the game, a number weighed down by an ugly 2-of-12 effort from behind the arc (.167). The Tigers also failed on over 50 percent of their free-throws in the loss (10-of-23). No Tiger finished in double figures in the setback, as Charles Tucker led the way with nine points.

Through four games, the Tigers are averaging 71.2 ppg, but giving up 72.0 ppg. The team has a slight advantage in rebounding (+2.8), but a slight disadvantage in turnovers (-1.5). Four Tigers are currently averaging double digits in terms of scoring, with Jay Harris putting in a team-best 13.5 ppg. Xavier Richards adds 11.0 ppg, followed closely by Marcus Roper and Darreon Reddick with 10.8 and 10.0 ppg, respectively.

Virginia has to be licking its chops at the chance to play an struggling offensive squad in Tennessee State. The Cavaliers play some of the best defense in the nation and have every season under Tony Bennett's guidance. This season is no different, as the Cavaliers are limiting foes to just 46.8 ppg. Opponents are actually shooting better from behind the arc (.325) than they are overall (.294). In addition, Virginia holds a +13.5 rebounding edge. The Cavs are fueled by a strong backcourt with Justin Anderson and Malcolm Brogdon leading the charge. Anderson, a 6-foot-6 junior, is shooting .525 from the floor and paces the team with 16.0 ppg. Brogdon, an All-ACC selection a year ago, adds 13.0 ppg with 3.0 apg. Forward Anthony Gill rounds out the top scoring threats for Virginia with 10.8 ppg.

Virginia held George Washington to 14 total field goals, including a mere five in the second half, turning a four-point halftime deficit into a 17-point victory. The Cavaliers also dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Colonials, 41-28 including 14 offensive rebounds. Anderson had a strong game, converting 8-of-13 from the field, scoring 18 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Brogdon added 15 points, while Darion Atkins finished with eight points and 11 boards.

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