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Cavaliers seek composure after long string of defeats

Virginia looks to regain footing after dropping four straight games, squares off against Clemson on road

After dropping their fourth straight game Wednesday night against Florida State, the Cavaliers look to regain some sort of traction in the ACC tomorrow at Clemson.

"We're going through a rough stretch right now," senior forward Jerome Meyinsse said. "We have to refocus and bounce back because we have another game Saturday."

Clemson (18-7, 6-5 ACC) enters Saturday's matchup after two straight wins against Miami and Florida State. Senior guard Trevor Booker, who averages 15.4 points per game, leads the Tiger offense. Junior guard Demontez Stitt also has seen significant playing time, contributing 10.8 points per game in addition to 3.3 assists. Overall, the team has averaged 74.2 points this season - about six more points than Virginia's 68.

A key for the Cavaliers (14-10, 5-6 ACC) will be reestablishing Sylven Landesberg's scoring presence, as the sophomore guard scored a paltry four points against the Seminoles Wednesday - the first time this season the Virginia standout has been held to single digits. The squad also must see contributions from junior forward Mike Scott, the team's second leading scorer, and junior guard Jeff Jones. But with the disheartening loss to Florida State still fresh in their minds, the Cavaliers face a tall order.

"We looked like a physically and mentally tired team out there," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. "I thought we yielded on the physical and mental end against a physical team."

Against the Seminoles, Virginia put in a lethargic effort, scoring the fewest points the team has ever racked up at John Paul Jones Arena. Bennett toyed with the team's starting lineup before the game, turning to the offensive touch of Jones in favor of freshman guard Jontel Evans. He also benched sophomore guard Sammy Zeglinski, choosing the experienced senior guard Calvin Baker instead. But although Jones led all scorers with 13 points against the Seminoles, Baker remained virtually silent, contributing five points without dishing out a single assist.

"You just have to learn from the bad, look at the film and move forward," Jones said. "You've got to have a short memory"