Virginia shoots 60 percent from the floor, surges to win over Miami, 71-58
Virginia, behind 22 points from Armaan Franklin, and a 10-assist night from Reece Beekman, put in easily its best effort of the season Saturday, soundly beating a good Miami team, 71-58.
And it wasn’t that close – the Hurricanes (16-7, 8-4 ACC) closed on an 8-0 run in the final 1:08 in garbage time.
This Virginia team (14-9, 8-5 ACC) can play its way to the NCAA Tournament bubble.
The challenge: sustaining it.
A 14-4 first-half run put Virginia on top to stay. The ‘Hoos led 35-26 at the break, getting a buzzer-beating three from Franklin, who had 15 in the opening half.
Virginia shot 62.5 percent from the floor (15-of-24) and connected on 5-of-7 from three in the opening 20 minutes.
The second half was essentially a repeat of the first. A Charlie Moore layup and later a Kameron McGusty jumper would cut the margin to seven, but a Beekman three would put UVA up 12, 42-30, with 16:43 to go, and the margin, surprisingly, would stay in double-digits the rest of the way.
Miami coach Jim Larranaga tried everything – man, zone, switching from one to the other from possession to possession – but nothing worked.
The Cavaliers shot 60 percent from the floor (30-of-50) on the night, and finished 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) from three.
Not bad for a team that was shooting 45 percent from the field and 33 percent from three coming in.
And on the defensive end, another solid night, after a strong night on D in the 67-55 win over Boston College earlier in the week.
Miami was averaging 77.4 points per game in conference play coming in, but had just 50 when it mattered, pre-garbage time.
And that was with McGusty scoring 21, on 9-of-13 shooting, 3-of-5 from three, and Moore scoring 17, on 8-of-13 shooting.
Problem was, their teammates combined for 20 points on 10-of-24 shooting, and the ‘Canes had 13 turnovers on 57 possessions (22.8 percent).
That was the one flaw in Virginia’s game – the ‘Hoos also had 13 turnovers on the night.
But UVA was able to control tempo, control the boards (24-19 advantage), and shot the lights out.
Inside the Numbers
Franklin got his 22 on 8-of-16 shooting, 3-of-8 from three. He also had four steals.
Jayden Gardner had 12 points, 10 in the second half, on 6-of-9 shooting, with a game-high seven rebounds.
Kihei Clark added 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, 3-of-5 from three, with three assists and three steals.
Beekman had nine points on 4-of-6 shooting, including a made three, to go with his 10 assists and two steals.
The bigs, Francisco Caffaro (eight points, 4-of-4 shooting, five rebounds) and Kadin Shedrick (six points, 3-of-3 shooting, four rebounds) had about as clean a night as you can have.
Kody Stattmann had a made three and an assist in 11 minutes off the bench.
Virginia was 15-of-19 on layups and dunks. Miami was 16-of-21.
Virginia had 23 assists on its 30 made field goals.
Next up: Virginia travels to Duke on Monday night.
Story by Chris Graham