(10) Arizona 90

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Virginia 93

(1-0, 1-0 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 12, 2006

    John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Virginia

    1 2 T
    #10ARIZ 49 4190
    UVA 36 5793

    Top Performers

    Arizona: I. Radenovic 24 Pts, 8 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Virginia: M. Diane 25 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Virginia opens new arena with upset of No. 10 Arizona

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- With all the hoopla surrounding the opening of Virginia's glistening $130 million John Paul Jones Arena, the last thing the Cavaliers wanted was to send a sellout crowd of 15,219 home with a loss.

    They didn't, rallying from a slow start to open their new home in stirring fashion Sunday night with a 93-90 victory against No. 10 Arizona.

    The game even lived up to the pregame ceremony, which featured Michael Buffer introducing the Cavaliers starting lineup and delivering his trademark "Let's get ready to rumble," the Virginia mascot rappelling from the ceiling with the game ball, and a light show.

    It was so much, Sean Singletary said, that it was nearly too much.

    "It was hard," he said after scoring 25 points. "We struggled in the first half. We didn't have the energy. We didn't have the focus we needed. But definitely in the second half, coach got on us like he usually does and we turned it around."

    Mamadi Diane scored a career-best 25 points, including a banked-in 3-pointer that put Virginia up 80-79 for its first lead since early in the game. The shot became part of a 14-5 run to an 86-82 lead, and the Cavaliers held on -- barely -- at the free throw line.

    Virginia made 7 of 10 free throws in the final 2:56, and its victory wasn't safe until J.P. Prince's 3-point try from the right wing rimmed out at the buzzer.

    The Cavaliers also intensified on defense, which has fast become a strength under second-year coach Dave Leitao. In the second half, they outscored the Wildcats 57-41, limited them to 43 percent shooting and outrebounded them 18-15 despite foul trouble.

    "We said, 'We can't disrespect ourselves and disrespect this program by actually letting another team, in our first game in this big arena, this big event, let another team score 100 points on us," Jason Cain said.

    "As a defensive team, we really can't allow that."

    The Wildcats were led by Ivan Radenovic with 24 points, and Marcus Williams and Jawann McClellan with 18 each. Williams added eight rebounds, but fouled out with 2:56 left, just after missing a pair of free throws that would have tied it 84-84.

    "They didn't beat us; we beat ourselves," McClellan said.

    Coach Lute Olson said his team helped greatly by getting Virginia into the bonus on free throws early, and the Cavaliers converted 21 of 28 at the line in the first half.

    "We need to learn how to play defense without fouling," he said. "We need to work really hard on the defensive end and be more of a factor on the boards."

    Cain added 13 points and 12 rebounds for Virginia. Cain had all but two of his points in the second half. J.R. Reynolds didn't start after being poked in the eye on Thursday, but added 10 for the Cavaliers, all but two coming in the final 8½ minutes.

    "Magnificent," Leitao said of the inspiring start at the new arena. But, he added, "The minute we don't play as well as we did or we lose a game we should win, nobody will remember this, so we've got to make sure we learn from it."

    Virginia trailed by double digits for most of the first half, but started the second half with a 12-4 run to get to 53-48 and kept chipping away. The Cavs got even at 68-all with a 7-0 run, capped by Singletary's two free throws with 11:04 left.

    Radenovic scored seven points in a 9-4 run for the Wildcats, but Virginia rallied again, drawing even at 77 on Cain's putback with 6:31 left. The Cavaliers took their first lead since the opening minutes when Diane banked in a 3-pointer with 5:45 to go.

    After McClellan's fourth 3-pointer gave the Wildcats the lead back, Reynolds scored on a drive and Diane hit a pair of free throws to give the Cavs an 84-82 lead. Two free throws by Reynolds capped the run, and then the home team had to hold on.

    Radenovic scored 11 of his points in the last 10 minutes, including a 3-pointer from the right corner with 1:24 to play that pulled the Wildcats within three at 89-86.

    But Singletary fed Diane on the baseline for a short, floating jumper, then followed two free throws by Arizona's Mustafa Shakur by hitting one of two at the line.

    Shakur hit two more with 12.5 seconds left, but Reynolds was fouled with 8.5 seconds left, converted the second shot and Prince's long-distance attempt missed.

    "It was a storybook ending," Singletary said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 90 93
    FG Made-Attempted 31-66 (.470) 28-61 (.459)
    3P Made-Attempted 9-24 (.375) 8-17 (.471)
    FT Made-Attempted 19-25 (.760) 29-38 (.763)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (0/0) 24 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 19 6

    2006-07 Season

    » Nov 12, 2006 @UVA 93, ARIZ 90Recap