PHILADELPHIA - The University of Virginia used a quick start Friday night against Penn, and never looked back in taking a 100-85 decision in the day’sfinal game at the Palestra. The Quakers and Cavaliers concluded the firsty of the inaugural Philly Hoop Group Classic, an eight-team event that began at noon and did not end until nearly midnight.
The last time an opposing team came into The Palestra and dropped 100 on the Quakers was Feb. 10, 1990, when Harvard defeated Penn, 105-97.
Penn (1-4) will now play Navy Saturday night at 7 p.m.; the Midshipmen were a 79-75 loser to Seton Hall in the third game Friday. Virginia and Seton Hall will match up after that in the tournament’s final game.
In Friday’s afternoon session at The Palestra, Loyola (Md.) defeated Howard and Drexel downed Robert Morris. As a result, Howard and RMU will tip off the day at noon, followed by Drexel and Loyola (Md.).
Friday night’s final game matched Penn head coach Glen Miller against UVA’s Dave Leitao; the duo were assistant coaches under Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun at the University of Connecticut.
In addition, the contest marked a return to The Palestra by Virginia senior Ryan Pettinella, who began his college career as a Quaker and played the 2003-04 season for Penn. Pettinella started Friday night’s game and had six points and two rebounds in 11 minutes of action.
Virginia (5-0) tied North Carolina for the ACC regular-season title last year, and the Cavs were every bit the front-runner in this game. They scored the first seven points and 12 of the first 14, giving the Quakers a taste of their own medicine from the previous two games.
How methodical was this game? Once Virginia led, 14-3, the Quakers never got within single digits. However, the Cavs never truly pulled away, with its largest lead being 26 late in the second half.
The brightest spot for the Quakers in the first half was freshman Remy Cofield, who came off the bench and scored 12 points en route to a team-high 20 for the night (giving him his first double-digit scoring game as a collegian). Cofield was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field in the opening stanza, including a circus shot on a layup that somehow found nothing but net as Cofield tumbled to the ground.
Virginia, meanwhile, used a balanced attack in jumping out to its lead. Mamadi Diane had 11 points, while four of his teammates had at least six before the break.
Penn placed three other players in double figures freshman Tyler Bernardini had 13 points, classmate Harrison Gaines added 12 (to go with eight assists, giving him 20 in the last two games), and senior Brian Grandieri scored 10 and had a team-leading five rebounds.
For Virginia, Adrian Joseph had 23 points to lead all scorers, and added 11 rebounds. He was one of two Cavs with a double-double, as Mike Scott came off the bench for 10 points and a game-high 13 boards. Sean Singletary scored 16 points, while Diane finished with 13.