RICHMOND, DEC. 19 -- Four years ago, when the University of Virginia coaches wanted him to take a year of prep school before enrolling, Charlottesville High School senior Phil Stinnie politely said no thank you and headed for Virginia Commonwealth. No hard feelings -- until tonight, when Stinnie scored 33 points to lead the Rams to a 75-66 win over the Cavaliers in the consolation game of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Invitational.
Richmond, led by Peter Woolfolk's 23 points, beat Old Dominion, 70-63, for the championship.
"There's no bad blood, until we get out on the court," Stinnie said. "They wanted me to come there, but I wasn't really the type of guy for a year of military school. I don't hold it against them -- but I hope they never forget it."
It's not likely they will. Stinnie hit 12 of 17 shots, shooting from every angle and distance, working for most of the game against a box-and-one defense. "We did everything you'd expect to try to stop someone," Virginia Coach Terry Holland said, "and he still got 33."
The win was the first in seven meetings for the Rams (6-2) over Virginia (4-4), which lost its third straight in what most likely will be its last game without Mel Kennedy. Holland said after the game he will talk with Kennedy and his parents Sunday, and that the senior forward most likely will be reinstated after being suspended because of poor class attendance.
If ever there's a team in need of a boost, it's the Cavaliers. After taking an early eight-point lead, Virginia fell behind by 34-31 at intermission and dug itself a 10-point hole at the outset of the second half with three consecutive turnovers on inbounds plays. Virginia cut the lead to three midway through the second half, but Stinnie quickly shut the door by scoring six points in a two-minute span to push the lead back to eight. Virginia never got closer than six the rest of the way.
Point guard Chris Cheeks added 11 points and reserve center Martin Henlan had 14 rebounds for the Rams. For Virginia, John Johnson had 19 points and Richard Morgan 15, but each shot only six for 16.
"It's obvious we're having a lot of problems right now," Holland said. "We haven't solved our front court problem and that's making things very tough for our guards."
Catonsville 57, Montgomery-Rockville 56:
Tom Lynch scored 16 points and Brent Stewart 13 as the Cardinals (3-7) edged the host Knights (3-3).
Essex 103, Montgomery-Takoma Park 76:
Tim Wilson had 24 points and 12 rebounds in a losing effort for the Falcons (1-6) at Essex (6-2).
Prince George's 89, Montgomery-Germantown 75:
Anthony Landry scored 22 points and John Wiley 15 for the Owls (5-2) at Germantown. Mitch Mercer led the Gryphons (3-4) with 23 points.
SUNY-Old Westbury 78, Gallaudet 69:
Damian Troutman scored 20 points and Danny McLeod 17 to lead the host Panthers past the Bison (3-7).