Virginia pulled off an upset of a nationally ranked power over the weekend. As a result, the Cavaliers are now the powerful ranked team looking to avoid the upset.
ACC player of the week Sean Singletary leads No. 23 Virginia into a Tuesday night home game against Drexel as the Cavaliers seek to remain undefeated.
This contest is part of the Philly Hoop Group Classic, an eight-team tournament which will culminate in Philadelphia on Friday and Saturday. Virginia (3-0) routed Howard 92-53 at home last Wednesday in its first Philly Hoop Group Classic game, while the Dragons (3-0) beat Navy 86-70 on Nov. 11 in their first tournament matchup.
Singletary had 23 points and eight assists in the victory over Howard, which merely began an outstanding week for him and the Cavaliers. Playing through a flu bug at then-No. 17 Arizona on Saturday, the senior guard poured in 24 points — making all 11 of his free-throw attempts—and added eight assists and four rebounds to lead Virginia to a 75-72 upset.
“He’s a special, special player,” Virginia coach Dave Leitao said after Saturday’s win. “He was gassed five minutes into the game. He looked dizzy but didn’t let that deter him. He didn’t start out well but went into attack mode in the second half.”
The performances earned Singletary conference player of the week honors for the fourth time in his career, and propelled the Cavaliers to their highest ranking since Dec. 6, 2004, when they were No. 19.
“Our program is building,” Leitao said. “Playing against a ranked team, especially in this building, makes this win very special.”
Freshman guard Jeff Jones also had a strong game Saturday for Virginia, scoring 15 points—all from 3-point range. Jones went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc, and the Cavaliers were 12-for-21 as a team.
Through the season’s first three games, they are outrebounding the opposition 121-74 and shooting 51.4 percent.
Virginia has never faced Drexel, but has won 17 straight games against teams from the Colonial Athletic Association since a 76-69 loss at Old Dominion on Dec. 11, 1993.
The Dragons are looking to upset the 23rd-ranked team in the nation on the road for the second consecutive season. Drexel beat then-No. 23 Syracuse 84-79 last Dec. 19, behind a career-high 27 points from center Frank Elegar.
Elegar was also dominant in the Nov. 11 victory over Navy, totaling 24 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. He only managed nine points while hampered by foul trouble Wednesday against Florida Gulf Coast, but junior guard Tramayne Hawthorne picked up the slack with a career-high 22 points as the Dragons won 77-58.
This game has no impact on the Philly Hoop Group Classic pairings this Friday at Philadelphia. Virginia will face host school Pennsylvania, and Drexel will match up against Robert Morris.