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Cavaliers Hand Flames 79-44 Season-Opening Loss
The Cavaliers held the Flames to just 22.5 percent shooting from the field and just 22 points in both halves of the game en route to a 79-44 season-opening victory over Liberty, Friday evening, at University Hall.
Virginia (1-0) jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead after a three-pointer by J.R. Reynolds and a jumper by Diane Mamadi. Liberty (0-1) got on the scoreboard as Damien Hubbard (Jr., F, Boyce, Va.) connected on a jumper in the lane at the 18:33 mark to trim the lead to 5-2 early on.
However, that would be the last basket that the Flames would score over the next four minutes of action as Liberty was held without a field goal until Anthony Smith (Fr., G, Plano, Texas) scored on a fastbreak lay-up at the 14:24 mark, while the Cavaliers outscored the Flames 13-4 during the time period to take an 18-6 lead.
The Flames started to find the basket over the next few possession as lay-ups by Russell Monroe (So., C, Alma, Mich.) and Doug Stewart (So., F, Sanford, N.C.) cut the Cavaliers' advantage to 10 points, 20-10, with 12:46 left to play in the first half. But Liberty scored just two more field goal over the remainder of the half on put-backs by Monroe at the 6:33 mark and with a second left on the clock as the Flames shot just 23.1 percent (6-of-26) in the opening period and trailed 44-22 at the break.
The second half didn't prove to be much different than the first as Liberty finished the period connecting on just 6-of-27 attempts from the floor (22.2 percent). The closest the Flames got during the period was 25 points, 58-33, at the 10:57 mark on a lay-up by Eric Bigby (Jr., F, Meade, Md.).
Larry Blair (So., G, Charlotte, N.C.), who was held without a field goal until the 9:45 of the second half, led the Flames with 13 points as he was 2-of-13 from the field, but a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Monroe followed with nine points and four rebounds, while Hubbard added six points in his Flames' debut.
The Cavaliers had five players finish in double figures as Mamadi led the squad with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, while Sean Singletary followed with 15 points, seven rebounds and tied for game-high honors with six assists.
"We are obviously a very young team and we are still trying to find ourselves at this time," stated head coach Randy Dunton. "But I give a lot of credit to Virginia tonight as they came prepared. They were ready to play and did what they needed to get the victory."
"We have a lot of inexperience on this roster, but we will learn from this game and be better prepared for the next game."
The Flames will open up their 2005-06 home schedule next Monday when they host Cincinnati Christian in the Vines Center for a non-conference battle. Tip-off for the home season-opener is scheduled for 7 p.m.