Sean Singletary’s first college game in his hometown didn’t quite meet his expectations.
Singletary will get another chance to play in front of his friends and family on Saturday when No. 23 Virginia meets Seton Hall to close out the Philly Hoop Group Classic.
Virginia (5-0) scheduled this event in part to get Singletary, the team’s leading scorer at 21.2 points per game, a chance to play in Philadelphia. The senior guard turned in his lowest scoring output of the season, however, with 16 points on 4 of 12 shooting in a 100-85 win over Pennsylvania.
“I’m just happy we got the win and I’ve got a chance to turn things around tomorrow,” he said.
Singletary had only seven points in the first half, but his production was hardly missed. The Cavaliers opened the game with a 12-2 run and went 7-for-13 from 3-point range over the first 20 minutes for a 50-35 advantage.
Adrian Joseph helped pick up the slack for Singletary with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Joseph went 5-for-7 from 3-point range, hitting half of the Cavaliers’ 3-pointers for the game.
“He bought in 1,000 percent to what we’re doing,” Virginia coach Dave Leitao said. “He came in as a shooter and now he does other things. You just see a guy who’s game is expanding.”
The disappointment for Leitao was that the Cavaliers and Quakers each scored 50 points in the second half. Virginia allowed Penn to shoot 54 percent over the final 20 minutes.
“We could have kept our foot on the gas pedal a little more,” Singletary said.
While the Cavaliers like to play fast, that’s also how their opponents Saturday like to play. Seton Hall (4-0) is off to its best start since the 2000-01 team won its first five games, and is led by a speedy guard of its own in sophomore Eugene Harvey.
Harvey also will try to regroup after his worst effort of the season in a 79-75 win over Navy on Friday. He had just 11 points—more than 12 below his season average entering the contest—and matched a career high with seven turnovers.
The Pirates got off to a slow start, trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half before rallying. Seton Hall used its pressure defense to take over, forcing 16 turnovers in the second half and 22 for the game.
Brian Laing led Seton Hall with 27 points and nine rebounds. His effort helped the Pirates to a 50-40 edge on the glass, marking the fourth straight time they have outrebounded their opponent.
Seton Hall is in its second year under coach Bobby Gonzalez, who was an assistant at Virginia from 1998-99.
This will be the championship game of the Independence bracket of this inaugural eight-team tournament at the Palestra. The event is broken up into two brackets, so there is no undisputed champion.
Seton Hall is 2-0 against Virginia, but the teams haven’t met since the 1988-89 season.