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Beekman buzzer-beater pushes top seed Virginia into 2021 ACC Tournament semifinals

reece beekman uva syracuse
Reece Beekman celebrates after hitting the game-winner. Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

Reece Beekman had made 11 jump shots all season. So of course it was Beekman who made the biggest shot of the season to send top seed Virginia to the ACC Tournament semifinals.

Beekman’s three at the buzzer, off an assist from Kihei Clark, gave the ‘Hoos a dramatic 72-69 win over eight seed Syracuse Thursday afternoon in Greensboro.

The Orange (16-9) led by as many as 11 in the first half, making 9-of-11 from the field over an 8:12 stretch, but UVA (18-6) closed out the half on a 10-2 run to get within three, 39-36, at the break.

The Cavaliers got their first lead of the afternoon on a three by Sam Hauser with 17:52 to go, and from there, it was a pitched battle, with neither team leading by more than four until the closing sequence.

A pair of Trey Murphy III threes and a Sam Hauser turnaround jumper put UVA ahead 67-61 with 2:07 to go.

Buddy Boeheim, who had 31 points, hit a contested jumper in the lane, and then Syracuse went to a full-court press, and forced a Virginia turnover in the backcourt.

At this point, the guys with whistles decided it was high time to call touch fouls on UVA defenders guarding Boeheim, sending him to the line on consecutive possessions – and the four free throws tied the game at 69 with 28.6 seconds to go.

Syracuse still had a foul to give, and used it with 9.6 seconds left.

The final play ran through Clark and Hauser, the idea seeming to be to get Hauser a look, but he was bottled up and got the ball back to Clark.

Clark drove into the lane, found Beekman, to that point scoreless, missing all five of his shots from the field, open on the right wing – and you can’t blame Syracuse for leaving Beekman alone, considering his numbers on jumpers.

Beekman was 11-of-48 – 22.9 percent – on two- and three-point jumpers in 696 minutes of playing time in 24 games this season at the moment.


Inside the box score

Hauser finished with 21 points, 14 in the second half.

Murphy had 13, rallying himself from a 1-of-8 start from three to hit the two big trifectas in the closing stretch.

Jay Huff had 13 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Clark had 10 points and six assists for Virginia, which shot 45.5 percent (25-of-55) and 31.4 percent from three (11-of-35).

Fun with numbers: UVA was 8-of-19 from three in the second half, and of course, the three big buckets late were the two threes from Murphy and the buzzer-beater from Beekman.

Boeheim got his 31 on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor and 5-of-8 from three.

Quincy Guerrier had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Orange, which shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the floor and 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from three.

Emptying the notebook

  • UVA shot profile: 8-of-12 on shots at the rim, 6-of-8 on two-point jumpers, 11-of-35 on threes.
  • Syracuse shot profile: 7-of-12 on shots at the rim and 9-of-23 on two-point jumpers, 8-of-22 on threes.
  • Fast-break points: Syracuse 15-2
  • Points off turnovers: Syracuse 17-8
  • Second-chance points: Syracuse 17-9
  • Points in the paint: Syracuse 22-18
  • Free throws: Syracuse 13-of-17, UVA 11-of-12
  • Lead time: Syracuse 22:19, UVA 10:43

uva syracuse box

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press