Olden Polynice's turnaround jump shot in the lane with seven seconds to play gave Virginia a 58-56 victory over Wake Forest today. It was Virginia's first Atlantic Coast Conference victory of the season.
The Cavaliers (9-9, 1-6 in the ACC) played their second consecutive game without Coach Terry Holland, who remains at University of Virginia Hospital undergoing tests for intestinal trouble. Holland, 42, was readmitted to the hospital Thursday after the disorder, which forced him to miss Monday's Georgia Tech game, flared up.
Holland felt better today but remained hospitalized to undergo further testing, according to a team spokesman. His length of stay in the hospital has not been determined. He also will miss Sunday's game against Arkansas at University Hall.
Forward Tom Sheehey led Virginia with 18 points on seven-of-nine shooting. Delaney Rudd and Mark Cline scored 14 each for Wake Forest (12-5, 3-2).
Polynice, a 6-foot-11 sophomore center, scored 12 points in the first half, but did not score again until the final minute. With 58 seconds left, he made two free throws for a 56-54 lead.
Rudd tied it on a 17-foot jump shot from the right wing with 44 seconds to play, and Virginia then worked for the final shot.
Tim Mullen, after regaining control of a dribble tipped away by 5-3 Tyrone Bogues, found Polynice open eight feet from the basket. Polynice turned and swished his shot over 6-9 defender Kenny Green.
"Coaches had been telling me to start flashing in the middle when I'm being face-guarded. I did, and Tim got me the ball," Polynice said.
Cline's 20-foot attempt to tie it with two seconds left was blocked by Jim Miller. Wake had rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit.
Virginia's victory, ending its longest ACC losing string since the 1976-77 team started 0-9, resulted from a well-executed game plan designed by Holland and implemented by assistant coaches Dave Odom and Jim Larranaga. The Cavaliers used a 3-2 zone to stifle Green, who had been averaging 18.2 points per game, and let the other Deacons shoot from the wings.
"This was Terry Holland's game plan. Everything we did was planned and reviewed by Coach Holland," Odom said. "We felt the zone would be effective against them. I started to wonder when Bogues and Cline hit from the outside early, but we'd worked hard on the game plan and decided to stick with it."
Wake Forest missed 20 of its last 27 shots in the first 20 minutes, and Virginia built a 33-22 lead with 2:07 remaining in the half. Green was two of seven from the field and Rudd was one for nine.
After shooting 69 percent in the first half, Virginia scored only two points in the first 7:39 of the second half. Rudd hit four straight outside shots over a three-minute stretch midway through the half for a tie at 42.