Virginia looks to find footing at home vs. Coppin State

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Still trying to find their footing, the Virginia Cavaliers bring a rare losing record into Friday night's home game against Coppin State in Charlottesville, Va.

Virginia (1-2) is coming off a 20-point loss Tuesday night at No. 15 Houston, a game the Cavaliers never led thanks to poor shooting (34.9 percent overall and 21.1 percent from 3-point range) and 17 turnovers.

UVA lost six of its top eight scorers from the team that won the ACC regular season title in 2020-21. Indiana transfer Armaan Franklin was the only Cavalier in double figures against the Cougars with 11 points.

"Look, we're a newer team," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. "We've got a ways to go, and I think it's important for us to be in this setting and now look at the areas we really have to address and hopefully move the needle and get better and better (at) taking care of the ball and handling things."

After averaging 18.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in his first two games for the Cavs, East Carolina transfer Jayden Gardner was held to four points and two boards in 24 minutes at Houston.

The last time Virginia lost two of its first three games to start the season was in 2012-13.

Coppin State (1-5) is 0-2 against the Cavaliers, including a 97-40 blowout in Charlottesville in the last meeting on Nov. 16, 2018.

After an 0-5 start on the road, the Eagles collected their first win Wednesday with a 71-49 defeat of Loyola (Md.) in their home opener in Baltimore.

Kyle Cardaci led Coppin State with 19 points off the bench and Tyree Corbett posted a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Jesse Zarzuela is the Eagles' leading scorer with 13.2 points per game.

Friday night's contest is Coppin State's fourth game in seven days in four different states, including losses at UConn last Saturday and at UNC Greensboro on Monday.

Head coach Juan Dixon said he isn't concerned that his team ranks near the bottom in Division I in team field-goal percentage, shooting just 34.1 percent from the field.

"I'm not worried about us making shots," Dixon said after Monday's loss, per HBCU Game Day. "I would like for us to play faster, and I would like for us to take more threes."

--Field Level Media