The Week in Review:
Best Nail-Biting Victory: As Sharrod Ford's buzzer-beating three-pointer soared through the incredibly tense U-Hall atmosphere, the hearts of most Wahoo faithful rode with it in anticipation of disaster. The shot fell just short, sealing the UVA men's basketball team's (10-6, 1-5) crucial 81-79 triumph against the Clemson Tigers (10-8, 1-5) Saturday, January 22, and their first conference victory. After an 82-68 setback on the road to the Maryland Terrapins on Wednesday, January 19, UVA was in desperate need of an inspiration to staunch the bleeding from an 0-5 start in conference play. The Cavs led most of the game, but struggled to put the Tigers away down the stretch. The messiness of the victory made no difference to coach Pete Gillen, however, as he continues to hope amid all the recent adversity. "You can't win a couple of games in a row until you win one in a row," Gillen told The Daily Progress.
Most Magical Wizards: The Wizards could easily have folded after losing two straight games after second-leading scorer Larry Hughes was sidelined for 4-6 weeks with a broken thumb. Instead, Washington's magical season continued with a win at home over the Toronto Raptors Friday, January 21, and two hard-fought victories on the road as Antwan Jamison's buzzer-beating bank shot lifted the Wiz to a thrilling 95-93 win against the Indiana Pacers Saturday night and the team rallied from a 17-point deficit to knock off the central division-leading Cleveland Cavaliers (24-17), 106-97.
"We play with our backs to the wall. That's how we play," Gilbert Arenas told the AP after the Indiana victory. "When we have a lead, it's tough. When we play from behind, we're a much better team."
Brightest Shining Knights: Both the Charlottesville High boys' and girls' basketball teams overpowered their Jefferson district opponents to roll through a perfect week. The Lady Knights (12-1, 6-0) continued to dismantle everyone in their path as they look to run away with the regular season district championship. CHS controlled Western Albemarle en route to a 70-45 home victory Tuesday, January 18. The Lady Knights then took their impressive show on the road and continued their dominance with a 82-55 romp over the Lions of Louisa County, Friday, January 21. On the boys' side, CHS (9-6, 6-1) traveled to Crozet Tuesday to shut down the undefeated district-leading WAHS Warriors (10-6, 5-1) 49-34. Their momentum carried over in front of the home crowd as the Knights dispatched Louisa for their fourth consecutive victory.
Most Business-like Cavaliers: The Lady Wahoos suffered a heartbreaking 63-60 defeat on the road to the 18th-ranked Maryland Terrapins (12-) Thursday, January 20. Debbie Ryan's club quickly rebounded, however, to take care of business at home Sunday, January 23, with an 83-70 win over Dartmouth (5-8). The Ivy League ladies challenged UVA (14-5, 3-2) throughout much of the first half, but the Cavs weathered the Big Green's storm with a strong second-half run to seal the non-conference victory. "I think we came back from the Maryland game knowing we had things to work on," coach Ryan told The Daily Progress. "They practiced extremely well [on Saturday]."
The Week Ahead:
UVA MEN'S BASKETBALL
at VIRGINIA TECH (10-6, 3-2)
Thursday, January 27 @ 8pm
vs. (No. 3) NORTH CAROLINA (16-2, 5-1)
Saturday, January 29 @ noon (ESPN)
The Cavs look to extend their one-game winning streak. Games are sold out.
UVA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
vs. (No. 23) VIRGINIA TECH (12-5, 2-2)
Friday, January 28 @ 7pm
Expect an intense battle when these two bitter rivals clash at U-Hall. $6 Adults, $4 Youth.
VS. ORLANDO (RECORD)
Saturday, January 29 @ 7pm
VS. DETROIT (23-17)
Tuesday, February 1 @ 7pm
Washington hasn't seen a team this hot in over a quarter century. Tickets are incredibly hot and only a select few remain. Prices vary.