CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WTKR)- Virginia entered the season ranked No. 25 in the country. It's safe to say we won't see the Cavaliers in the polls next week.
Tony Bennett's club trailed by seven at halftime and went on an 8:30 scoreless drought in the second half, falling to Navy, 66-58, at John Paul Jones Arena on Tuesday night. It's the first season-opening loss for the Wahoos since November 9, 2012, when UVA fell to George Mason to begin its schedule.
The Midshipmen kept things interesting in the first half with red-hot three point shooting. Navy knocked down eight of its ten shots from deep, helping it take a 42-35 advantage at the break. Virginia was able to pull even with 10:46 remaining on a pair of Armaan Franklin free throws that knotted the contest at 53 apiece.
However, UVA went cold with the score tied 55-55. The Midshipmen scored nine unanswered points during the Cavalier scoreless skid to pull away and the Cavaliers would get no closer than six points the rest of the way.
East Carolina transfer Jayden Gardner led the way for the Wahoos in his UVA debut, posting a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebound. Kihei Clark added 12 points. Navy's John Carter Jr. led all scorers with 19 points.
The Midshipmen out-rebounded Virginia, 35-30.
UVA is back in action on Friday night when the Cavaliers host Radford. Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM at John Paul Jones Arena.
Meanwhile, down in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech got off to a much better start.
Justyn Mutts and David N'Guessan scored 15 points each to lead the Hokies to a blowout 82-47 win over Maine on Tuesday night at Cassell Coliseum. Tech led by as many as 39 points in the victory.
The Hokies opened on a 19-7 run and led the contest the entire way, leading 46-22 at the half. Mike Young's squad knocked down 58 perfect of its shots in the opening frame.
The second half saw more of the same. Virginia Tech finished shooting 53 percent from the floor and forced the Black Bears into 19 turnovers, while only committing eight themselves.
N'Guessan's performance fueled the Hokies. The sophomore provided a spark of the bench, knocking down all seven of his shots on his way to his career-high in the scoring column with the 15 points.
Virginia Tech gets back to work on Friday when the Hokies host upset-minded Navy on Friday night. That game will get underway at 8:30 PM.