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Beekman, Clark key UVA down the stretch: ‘Hoos defeat Louisville, 64-52

kihei clark reece beekman
Kihei Clark and Reece Beekman. Photo by Dan Grogan.

Virginia jumped out to a 19-point first-half lead, Louisville got as close as four in the second half, but the ‘Hoos got stops and key buckets down the stretch on their way to a 64-52 win Monday night in JPJ.

Things got a little hairy for UVA after the hot start in the opening 20 minutes, fueled by solid D – Louisville missed 14 of its first 18 shots – and solid play from Kihei Clark, who had nine points and four assists in the first half to key the offense.

Louisville was able to get it back to 35-23 at the break, and then a Malik Williams jumper with 11:54 to go cut the margin to four, at 45-41.

Reece Beekman assisted on back-to-back buckets by Kadin Shedrick and Jayden Gardner to get the lead back to eight.

A Clark three with 7:51 to go pushed the lead back to double digits.

Back-to-back threes from Williams and Jarrod West got Louisville (11-9, 5-5 ACC) to 52-47 at the 5:29 mark, but Virginia took over from there with a 12-2 run over the next five minutes, as the Cardinals missed six of their seven shots in the stretch.

Another Clark three, with 35 seconds left, punctuated the win for Virginia (12-8, 6-4 ACC).

Virginia rotation

Clark had a game-high 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, 3-of-7 from three, with five rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes.

Beekman might have been your game MVP even though he had just two points on 1-of-2 shooting. Beeks also had 11 assists and a game-high seven rebounds in 37 minutes of floor time.

Gardner finished with 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Twelve of his 13 shot attempts were jumpers.

Armaan Franklin had 10 points, but was 3-of-10 from the floor, 1-of-6 from three. This one felt like a step back for him after a nice recent stretch.

The bigs, Kadin Shedrick and Francisco Caffaro, had nice nights. Shedrick, coming off the bench, had 11 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes.

Caffaro had nine points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes.

Tony Bennett went with a short bench, just a seven-man rotation – the other guy to get minutes was Kody Stattmann, and he got 12, making a three, shooting 1-of-4 from the field.

Inside the Numbers

Virginia shot 47.1 percent (24-of-51) from the field and 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) from three.

Louisville finished 37.5 percent (21-of-56) from the floor and 9-of-28 (32.1 percent) from three.

West finished with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting, 4-of-7 from three, for UL.

Virginia had a 13-7 edge in points off turnovers and a 26-22 advantage in points in the paint.

Louisville outscored Virginia 9-7 in second-chance points.

Virginia had 55 possessions; Louisville had 56.

Virginia was 10-of-14 on shots at the rim; Louisville was 10-of-17.

Story by Chris Graham

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