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Virginia shows perplexing lack of fire in disappointing defeat

In the Virginia-Wake Forest meeting in Winston-Salem Jan. 30, the Cavaliers played a full 40-minute, intensity-packed game en route to a 76-67 win. But last night was a different story altogether.

With a possible NCAA Tournament berth on the line, the Cavaliers appeared to be running on empty from the start and sputtered to an 80-75 defeat before a disappointed home crowd.

"I don't know why we thought that because we beat them in Winston-Salem, we just had to show up," Virginia Coach Pete Gillen said.

The Cavaliers exhibited little firepower in the first half of the game, shooting only 11-for-28 from the floor. Point guard Donald Hand exemplified the Cavs' shooting woes by struggling to a 1-for-5 shooting half.

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  • The lack of emotion shown in the first half by the Cavaliers was surprising. Possibly only one game shy of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, the Cavs seemed like a group that was looking to end its 2000 campaign, rather than prolong it.

    "We can't do much about what the selection committee does," guard Majestic Mapp said. "We're not the ones who choose. We just have to play well on Saturday [against Maryland] and get a victory."

    In the second half, Virginia started like a team on a mission. Playing with newfound intensity, the Cavs took the lead with a little over six minutes to play, but in the final minutes, signs of immaturity and inexperience began to shine through. Virginia reverted back to the unemotional play shown in the first half and allowed the Deacons to shoot 57.1 percent from the field and escape from U-Hall with the victory.

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