Dave Leitao may very well be the most popular man in the hearts of Virginia Cavalier fans as his team managed to sweep the season series against rivals Virginia Tech 81-77 in overtime. Running neck and neck for the popularity vote amongst Cavalier fans would have to be the starting backcourt of J.R. Reynolds and Sean Singletary as they once again guided the team to victory.
Coming off a close loss at the hands of the Maryland Terrapins, Saturday's matchup against the Hokies was crucial to the confidence of Leitao's squad. In the early going it looked like the Hoos were hitting on all cylinders and their lead swelled to as many as 13 points until a rally by the Hokies to make it 39-32 in favor of the Hoos at the half. Singletary had 12 points in the first 20 minutes while Reynolds poured in 11.
The second half saw the Hokies come storming back to tie the game and even take the lead for a while behind the power of their backcourt and freshman A.D. Vassalo. At the 1:03 mark Coleman Collins' putback vaulted the Hokies to a 67-66 lead but Sean Singletary came right back and nailed a three pointer to swing the lead back to the Hoos 69-67. Later on a foul by center Tunji Soroye put Jamon Gordon on the foul line and he knocked down both to tie the game at 69. After a timeout J.R. Reynolds was unable to get his shot to fall inside and the game headed into overtime.
In the extra period swingman Adrian Joseph started thing with a three pointer to put the Hoos ahead and propel them to the victory. Joseph scored 5 of his points in overtime as the Cavaliers won the battle of the Commonwealth 81-77.
J.R. Reynolds finished the night with 19 points and a career high 12 assists while Sean Singletary had 23 points to go along with 6 assists. Jason Cain also had another solid game with 10 points and 8 rebounds against the Hokies. Freshman Mamadi Diane also made a nice contribution off the bench with 8 points while fellow freshman Lars Mikalauaskas had 4 huge points at critical points in the game.
Jamon Gordon had 24 points and 7 rebounds and Vassalo added 19 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds for Seth Greenburg's team.
The Cavaliers now sit at (12-9, 6-5) on the year and next Longwood on Wednesday night at University Hall.
Tonight's HooNation.com Player of The Game award goes to junior shooting guard J.R. Reynolds as he had a stellar game not only shooting from the floor with 19 points but his passing helped make things easier for the Cavaliers in the early going.