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Posted at 10:03 AM ET, 11/23/2010

Stacking up some of the largest margins of defeat of Tony Bennett's coaching career

By Steve Yanda

Prior to Virginia's 43-point thrashing Monday night at the hands of Washington, no Tony Bennett-led squad ever had lost by more than 23 points. Last season -- Bennett's first at Virginia -- the Cavaliers lost, 72-49, at Clemson on Feb. 20.

During Bennett's three-year run (2006-09) as head coach at Washington State, the Cougars' worst margin of defeat came Dec. 10, 2008 against Gonzaga. The Bulldogs defeated Washington State by 22 points that day. The score was 74-52.

The last time a team with which Bennett was associated lost by as many points as Virginia did Monday night against Washington came six years ago. While Bennett was still an assistant under his father, Dick, at Washington State, the Cougars once was defeated by 52 points. On Dec. 4, 2004, Washington State lost at Oklahoma State, 81-29.

"We let them do what they’re excellent at, and when you let a team that strong do what they do, it’s hard to say," Bennett said when asked to compare the Washington squad his team faced Monday night with some of the ones he squared off against while coaching in the Pac-10. "Fortunately, when we played them before we never let them do that as much. Although there were some games actually back at Washington State where they took it to us."

During his three seasons as the head coach at Washington State, Bennett was 5-2 against Washington. Of those two losses, the worst came Jan. 3, 2009 when the Cougars lost at home to the Huskies, 68-48.

Obviously, Monday night's contest was not pretty from any vantage point for Virginia fans. The Cavaliers allowed the most three-point baskets (17) made by an opponent in a single game in program history. Virginia shot 31.3 percent from the field in the second half. The Cavaliers recorded 17 turnovers. The list of discouraging stats that game produced for Virginia is lengthy.

But at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Cavaliers have a chance to right themselves against Oklahoma.

"We’ll have to regroup and come back and fight," Bennett said Monday night. "And that’s what I challenged the guys to do."

By Steve Yanda  | November 23, 2010; 10:03 AM ET
Categories:  Men's Basketball  
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