Virginia-Georgia Tech Preview

The Associated Press

Virginia coach Tony Bennett said the bye week gave his team the chance to take a break after its lengthy winning streak ended. At the same time, he'd still like to see his players on the floor so they can get back to their winning ways.

The 15th-ranked Cavaliers look to match their best start in 29 seasons Thursday night at Philips Arena, where Georgia Tech tries to avoid the program's first four-game home losing streak since 1981.

After the Cavaliers (14-2, 1-1) had their 12-game winning streak snapped with a 61-58 loss at then-No. 8 Duke last Thursday, Bennett gave his team two of the next three days to recuperate.

"You use (the bye week) to its fullest, from a rest standpoint and a preparation standpoint," Bennett said Monday. "...Those things combined are hopefully a positive. But when you're playing well it's not all bad to just keep on rolling, too."

With its five-game road winning streak gone, Virginia will try to start a new one outside Charlottesville as it goes for a fourth consecutive victory over the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta.

This will be the Cavaliers' first game at Philips Arena with Alexander Memorial Coliseum still under construction.

After posting a 72-64 home victory Jan. 22, Virginia completed the season sweep over the Yellow Jackets with a 62-56 road win Feb. 23. The Cavaliers have won four straight in this series.

They'll have a good chance of extending that streak if Mike Scott can keep producing down low. The senior forward leads the team with 16.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

Scott has 23 points in each of the last two contests - the first time in his career he's reached at least 20 in back-to-back games.

"Scott has done an unbelievable job with the improvements he's made as a player," Yellow Jackets first-year coach Brian Gregory said. "Now, you make him have to take tough shots all the time, because if you give him anything easy, it's definitely in."

It will be up to Kammeon Holsey and center Daniel Miller to slow down Scott, who needs 12 points to move past Billy Langloh, Tim Sheehey and Marc Iavaroni for 25th place at Virginia with 1,245.

The Yellow Jackets (8-9, 1-2), meanwhile, will likely need leading scorers Glen Rice Jr. and Mfon Udofia to play better to avoid the program's first four-game home losing streak since a seven-game skid from Jan. 17-Feb. 25, 1981.

Both shot 2 for 8 and they combined for 10 points in Sunday's 61-50 loss at Maryland. Georgia Tech converted a season-low 33.9 percent, missing 14 of 17 from 3-point range.

"We got a lot of easy looks it seemed like, but sometimes they just don't go down," said Rice, who is averaging 13.8 points and shooting a career-best 50.3 percent from the field.

Virginia is 7 for 29 from long range over the last two games.

Senior guard Sammy Zeglinski - seventh all-time at Virginia with 172 3s - is 2 for 12 during this stretch after missing all five attempts and going scoreless against the Blue Devils.

"He'd be the first to admit he had an off game," Bennett said of Zeglinski, who has hit 9 of 21 3s and is averaging 8.3 points in four games versus Georgia Tech. "We just said, 'All is well, and let's get back to it.'"

The Yellow Jackets are 38-33 against Virginia.

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