Diane Leads Virginia to Second ACC Win
Sunday, February 17, 2008; 5:08 PM
BOSTON -- Virginia's Sean Singletary knew Boston College was the perfect team to pass against.
Mamadi Diane scored 20 points, including a key 3-pointer with 45 seconds left, and Virginia snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 79-74 win over BC on Sunday.
Singletary, the team's leading scorer at 19.0 points per game coming into play Sunday, did score 16 points, but he felt like his playmaking would pay off like it did in the end.
In the game's opening 10 minutes ¿ when the Cavaliers fell behind by 10 ¿ Singletary was driving past his defenders fairly easily only to find someone moving over to pick him up, causing him to rethink his offensive approach.
"When you're playing a team that doesn't deny (the pass), you want to get people going," he said. "Then down the stretch people make plays."
Singletary was credited with four assists. He also fed others many times, leading to good ball movement and, eventually, open jumpers.
Laurynas Mikalauskas had 13 points and Mike Scott 11 for the Cavaliers (12-12, 2-9 Atlantic Coast Conference). Virginia's only other ACC win was also against BC -- 84-66 at home on Jan. 19.
"For me, it's a relief," Virginia coach Dave Leitao said. "It's been a long four weeks. It's a joy for them."
Tyrese Rice led the Eagles (13-11, 4-7) with 28 points on 11-for-24 shooting. Tyrelle Blair added 11 points and Shamari Spears 10 for BC.
"Our defense wasn't as solid as it needed to be -- even though Singletary was somewhat under control," BC coach Al Skinner said.
The Eagles lost for the seventh time in eight games. BC won its last game, 82-65, over North Carolina State at home Thursday.
"It's a frustrating loss, taken that we're the only team that they've beat, and they've beaten us twice," Rice said.
Virginia led 71-63 after Scott's short jumper in the lane with 2:51 to go, but BC rallied to cut it to one on Rice's 3 from the left corner with 67 seconds left before Diane drained his 3 from the left wing with 45 seconds to play.
Rice's driving basket closed it to 74-72, but Diane hit one free before Calvin Baker nailed a pair from the line, making it 77-72 with 13.7 second left. Baker also added two with 6.7 seconds left.
After missing its first nine shots in the second half, Virginia used a 13-3 run to move ahead 53-43 on Singletary's 3 from the top with 12:22 to go.
BC cut it to 57-54 on Rice's conventional 3-point play with 8:38 left, but the Cavaliers answered with the next six points. Diane closed the spree when he hit two free throws and followed with a fastbreak layup.
The Eagles, who trailed by eight at halftime, scored the first eight points after the break to tie the game at 40-all on Blair's two free throws with 16:48 to play.
In the first half, the Cavaliers trailed 19-9 midway, but picked up the pace offensively and scored 16 of the next 18 points en route to a 40-32 lead at intermission.