By: Darrell Owens
Headline Photo Credit: Darrell Owens-LMS Network
CHARLOTTESVILLE,VA-We are coming down the home stretch in 2019-20 NCAA Men’s Basketball season and things are heating up! The ACC which has been a dominating force in college basketball, but they are struggling a little bit this year. There still some teams battling to get a NCAA Tournament bid. One of those teams are the defending national champion Virginia Cavaliers. Sitting at 15-7 on the season, the Cavaliers are looking to better their tournament chances tonight as they play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish ,who also came into this game with 15 wins. Last night we got a overtime battle between two highly competitive teams.
The Cavaliers won the battle 50-49. Mamadi Diakite scored 20 points points last night to lead the Cavs. Diakite also join UVA’s 500 rebound club (504) last night. Braxton Key scored only 3 points but had a career-high 13 rebounds. Key also hit the game-winning free throw to propel UVA to the victory. Virginia continues to struggle shooting the ball this season. Last night the Cavs shot 19-for-51 (37.3%) from the floor and 5-for-20 (25%) from behind the arch.
Notre Dame’s John Mooney collected his 20 double-double of the season. Mooney scored 14 points and 11 rebounds. Mooney is current #2 in the nation in Double-Doubles and Average rebounds with 13 per games. Diakite talked about how difficult it is to guard Mooney, this is from the postgame conference…
“I was just trying to get under his grill and not let him breath so that when he got the ball he wouldn’t want to drive. He got me the first time, obviously that was the first time he got the ball, but right after that I made sure he didn’t get to the basket. Coach told us to trap at that point. He got to a point where he was kind of cooking a little bit and we had to go and trap him. That there was a little bit surprising but that helped us a lot.”
Mamadi Diakite-Virginia Senior Forward
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett knows that Virginia escaped with a victory last night. This was some of Coach Bennett’s Postgame game thoughts from the OT affair…
“Both teams have been playing well and I think are trending in the right direction. Maybe we didn’t play as well tonight, but both teams have been winning and on a good trend, so that was two teams that had some momentum. Home court got us one.”
Virginia moves to 16-7 on the season and 8-5 in the ACC. The Cavs head to Chapel Hill I Saturday to take on the Tarheels, who are inching for a big win heading into the March. The Cavs next home game is Wednesday, February 19th vs Boston College at 8pm EST.