Cats blow lead, lose opener

Virginia erased a 19-point Arizona lead late in the first half and held on as the Cats got a final chance to tie the game. J.P. Prince's three-point attempt missed and the Cavaliers held on to get a win in their brand new arena.

Sean Singletary scored 25 points and dished out six assists to spark the Cavaliers. He was a stunning 13-14 from the line and was insturmental in finding his open teammates.

One of those teammates was Mamadi Diane who hit 5-of-6 three pointers on his way to 25 points.

The Cavs also got a spark from guard J.R. Reynolds, who was not cleared to play until moments before the game but chipped in 10 points and seemed to pump up the team when he entered the game.

The Wildcats dominated the first half, playing most of the opening 20 minutes with a double figure lead. They led by 19 with less than 3:00 left but the Cavs finished the half on an 8-2 run and went into the locker room down just 13.

That momentum carried over to the start of the second half and Virginia continued to chip away at the lead until a 7-0 lead knotted the game at 68 when Singletary hit a pair of foul shots.

The Cats rallied, built up a five point lead but that was quickly squandered again. The teams traded leads but two more Diane foul shots gave the Cavs the lead for good.

Arizona had a chance to tie at the end of the game, but with Marcus Williams and Mustafa Shakur fouled out, the Cats had to go to a cold Prince for the final shot.

Ivan Radenovic led the Cats with 24 points and eight rebounds, while adding five assists.

Marcus Williams and Jawann McClellan each chipped in 18 points. Chase Budinger, in his collegiate debut, scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists. The bad news is that he scored 15 of those 17 points in the second half.

Shakur was held scoreless from the field and fouled out late, but did manage to dish out six assists.


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