Tigers Playing Host to ACC's Cavaliers

A preview of Monday night's Virginia at Auburn basketball game is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--After winning an exciting road game at Virginia last December the Auburn Tigers will try to do it again in the rematch on Monday night at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. as Coach Jeff Lebo's 4-4 Tigers take on the 4-3 Cavaliers out of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The game will be televised regionally by CSS.

"Virginia has an experienced team back from last year," says Lebo, whose Tigers are looking to bounce back from a very disappointing Friday night game in which they lost 81-77 to Troy.

"They played two freshman guards last year and two very good ones," Lebo says. "Now those guys are sophomores. Sylven Landesberg was an ACC Freshman of the Year in the league. They have size and strength inside, and they have an experienced team now. They are a much better team than they were last year."

Landesberg, 6-6, 207, leads Virginia in scoring with 16.4 points per game. The top rebounder is 6-8, 239 junior Mike Scott, who is averaging 13.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest.

Guard Sammy Zeglinski, a 6-0, 182 sophomore, is averaging 9.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game for first-year head coach Tony Bennett.

"They present a lot of problems," Lebo says. "You have a low post scoring threat in Scott. He is very skilled and a good offensive rebounder. Landesberg can get by you and slash and use his size in the painted area. He is good at getting fouled and getting to the foul line. He is a very good foul shooter. Our one-on-one defense is going to be tested on him and Zeglinski.

"Zeglinski is another guy who can beat you off the bounce when you are not tight on him," Lebo adds. "He can also shoot the ball from the perimeter. He is probably their most consistent three-point shooter."

Senior guard DeWayne Reed leads the Tigers in scoring at 15.4 points per game. Sophomore guard Frankie Sullivan is next at 14.1 while senior forward Lucas Hargrove (13.4 points and 7.9) rebounds and senior guard Tay Waller (12.5 points per game) are also averaging in double figures. Waller got his first start vs. Troy and has played in just two games this year due to a thigh injury.

Tay Waller is Auburn's top three-point shooting threat.

Lebo's Tigers struggled with their shooting (39.4 percent) on Friday while allowing Troy to hit 13 three-pointers and shoot 53.7 percent from the field.

"We watched it on film and we had oodles of opportunities," says Lebo, who notes the Tigers missed a dozen layups. "We missed wide open shots. We looked at our shots, and we felt good at who was shooting them and where we got them. We got wide open threes and wide open layups. We just could not put the ball in the basket.

"Defensively, other than three or four, we defended them pretty well," Lebo adds. "They made some tough long perimeter shots. We had 20 more shots than they did with the free throws being the same, and you are supposed to win those games."

Lebo is looking for a better performance from his team on Monday against tougher competition in a game that will be televised regionally on CSS. "It is an ACC team coming in here to play so it is a big game for us and a big game for them," says Lebo, who was an ACC star guard at North Carolina. "Hopefully, we will come out and compete. We have to put the ball in the basket this game. We didn't put the ball in the basket last game."

Virginia also comes into the game following a loss. The Cavaliers fell last Monday 69-66 at home to Penn State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Virginia lost 57-52 to Stanford and 66-49 to South Florida and has wins vs. Cleveland State (76-65), Oral Roberts (76-55), Rider (79-46) and Longwood (85-72).

The all-time series between the Tigers and Cavaliers is 3-3.


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