No. 10 Arizona Falls on the Road at Virginia in Season Opener
Nov. 12, 2006
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Mamadi Diane scored 25 points and Sean Singletary had 24 to help Virginia open its glistening $130 million John Paul Jones Arena in stirring fashion, coming from behind to beat No. 10 Arizona 93-90 on Sunday night.
The Cavaliers, who took their first lead since the early going with 5:45 left, used a 14-5 run to grab an 86-82 lead, then held on - barely - at the free throw line.
Virginia made seven of 10 free throws in the final 2:56, and its victory wasn't secured until J.P. Prince's 3-point try from the right wing rimmed out at the buzzer.
The Wildcats were led by Ivan Radenovic with 24 points and Marcus Williams and Jawann McClellan with 18 each. Williams added eight rebounds, but fouled out with 2:56 left, just after missing a pair of free throws that would have tied it at 84-all.
Jason Cain added 13 points and 12 rebounds for Virginia. Cain had all but two of his points in the second half as Virginia rallied from a double-digit deficit.
J.R. Reynolds, who didn't start after being poked in the eye during practice this week, scored 10 for the Cavaliers, all but two coming in the final 8 1/2 minutes.
Virginia trailed by double digits for most of the first half, but started the second half with a 12-4 run to get to 53-48 and kept chipping away. The Cavs got even at 68-all with a 7-0 run, capped by Singletary's two free throws with 11:04 left.
Radenovic scored seven points in a 9-4 run for the Wildcats, but Virginia rallied again, drawing even at 77 on Cain's putback with 6:31 left. The Cavaliers took their first lead since the opening minutes when Diane banked in a 3-pointer to make it 80-79.
After McClellan's fourth 3-pointer gave the Wildcats the lead back, Reynolds scored on a drive and Diane hit a pair of free throws to give the Cavs an 84-82 lead. Two free throws by Reynolds capped the run, and then the home team had to hold on.
Radenovic scored 11 of his points in the last 10 minutes, including a 3-pointer from the right corner with 1:24 to play that pulled the Wildcats within three at 89-86.
But Singletary, who had six assists, fed Diane on the baseline for a jumper, then followed two free throws by Arizona's Mustafa Shakur by hitting one of two at the line.
Shakur hit two more with 12.5 seconds left, but Reynolds was fouled with 8.5 seconds left, converted the second shot and Prince's long-distance attempt missed.
Beforehand, the university used a light show to build excitement for the first men's game at the arena. The women's team won earlier, beating Old Dominion.
The light show ended with a video that showed the Cavaliers' mascot vanquishing a Wildcat, and the mascot then was lowered from the rafters with a basketball, which he presented to John Paul Jones and athletic director Craig Littlepage at courtside.
Jones' son, Paul Tudor Jones, donated more than $35 million to the building.