Virginia’s Balanced Scoring Attack Defeats Monmouth

Ken Cross

November 15, 2022 at 1:41 pm.

The Virginia Cavalier basketball team rolled to its second win of the season in posting an 89-42 demolition of the Monmouth Hawks.

The Cavaliers again showed renewed depth in the rout as coach Tony Bennett used 11 players with his starters playing only 16-21 minutes. Freshmen Isaac McNeely and Ryan Dunn were around 27 minutes each off the bench. McNeely led Virginia with 15 points, while Dunn tallied 13.

“I think we are deeper this year and we have shown that we shoot it better,” Bennett said.

Virginia struggled in both shooting and depth last season and it eventually was a key in costing the Cavaliers another trip to the NCAA Tournament. The team shot only 44.9 percent from the floor, while making only 5.0 three-pointers per game (350th/CBB).

Bennett saw the Cavaliers make 13 of 25 triples against the Hawks and they made 8 of 19 in their 73-61 win over North Carolina Central in its previous game.

“Does it guarantee that you are going to be banging shots and shooting percentage?” analyzed Bennett. “No, but it opens the floor and threats there.”


Youth is Served: Virginia has a solid starting five in Kihei Clark, Reece Beckman and Armaan Franklin at the guards with Jayden Gardner and Kadin Shedrick at forward.

Bennett added a solid group of young players and they have currently taken positions as role players. McKneely and Dunn seemed to have filled the bill in that area.

McKneely made 4 of 8 three-pointers, while Dunn used his athleticism as he went 5 of 6 from the floor with 13 points and six rebounds.

“I can speak for both of us,” said McKneely. “We come into every game looking to play and coming in ready. We don’t work hard for no reason. We’re working in practice every single day to get minutes.”

Virginia only had two players average double figures in minutes in coming off the bench last season. McKneely and Dunn came off the bench to lead the Cavaliers in minutes played on against Monmouth.

“I’m really proud of us tonight and I think we should be able to come in every game and hopefully make an impact,” noted McKneely.


Dunn Added to Depth of Recruiting Class and Team: Dunn was considered a Top 100 player by many college basketball analysts last season and he cut his choices down to eight teams before choosing Virginia early in his senior season in Freeport, N.Y.

He balanced his five baskets throughout his 26 minutes as he ended the scoring for the evening with a slam dunk off of a steal.

“Like you said, it’s only one game in the whole season, so I kind of come out and focus on this game right here as I play a lot,” noted Dunn.


Rice Begins 12th Season at Monmouth: Hawks head coach King Rice was a well-known point guard at North Carolina from 1987-91. He was a solid playmaker and a shooter for legendary head coach Dean Smith.

Rice is having to rebuild Monmouth this season as the Hawks are now in the Colonial Athletic Association after being in the MAAC for nine years where he won three regular season championships.

The Hawks lost to Seton Hall in their opener, 79-52, just two nights before the loss at Virginia.

“They have bodies and they keep coming at you,” said Rice of the Cavaliers. “They are so solid and like I said – we get a little tired and it goes bad quickly. I bring them in fast and we can never get our legs back under us, but we’ll be okay.”