CHARLOTTESVILLE, FEB. 4 -- A week from now, the Virginia Cavaliers may fondly reminisce about games like this, what with the beginning of a testing three-game, four-day trip to Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest only two days away.
So it came as little surprise that no complaints could be heard from the Virginia locker room tonight after the most effortless of victories -- an 87-54 victory over Radford.
Forward Bryant Stith made 10 of 12 shots and led all scorers with 25. Virginia forward Kenny Turner contributed 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, and point guard John Crotty scored 14. Ron Shelburne's 16 points were tops for the Highlanders (16-5).
"We played an excellent ballclub that is very experienced," said Radford Coach Oliver Purnell, a former Maryland assistant. "Their size and strength took its toll."
Virginia Coach Jeff Jones said he worried about a letdown after Virginia's 83-80 win over Wake Forest here Saturday, but those concerns were alleviated when Radford showed up with a boisterous horde of fans who filled most of the prime student seats and drowned out the sparse Virginia crowd generously estimated at 6,500.
"The Radford people got in here early and made some noise," Jones said. "If our players weren't motivated before they came out for warm-ups, they were motivated when they came back in."
Virginia (17-4) rose to No. 11 in today's Associated Press poll, the team's highest ranking since the Ralph Sampson-led 1982-83 squad finished the season ranked fourth. But the Cavaliers were quick to note that the ranking could prove temporary, what with games Thursday at Duke and Saturday at North Carolina -- neither of which Virginia has defeated on the road since 1983.
Jones agreed to the scheduling only after realizing that the alternative -- a proposed weekend of facing both Notre Dame and Wake Forest on the road -- could prove even worse.
"This is going to be hell," said Turner. "If we stay focused, I think we can win all three."
Richmond 61, Virginia Tech 56: Curtis Blair scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half to rally the Spiders over cold-shooting Hokies in Blacksburg.
John Rivers, with 10 points, was the lone player in double figures for the Hokies (8-11).
Loyola (Md.) 85, Towson State 84: Tracy Bergan connected on a driving 10-footer with 12 seconds left, breaking the host Tigers eight-game winning streak.
Marymount 72, Catholic 67: The Saints jumped out to a 16-4 lead and maintained their edge behind the play of Pierre Gardner (18 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) and Pablo Coto (16 points). Marymount (12-9, 7-1 Capital Athletic Conference) clinched no less than a tie for first place. Jay Jackson had a game-high 22 points for the Cardinals (9-12, 4-3).