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Virginia takes care of business, defeats Lehigh, 61-43: Iowa up next

kihei clark
Kihei Clark. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Virginia led Lehigh by just four at the half, but the defense was solid. The offense was awful, but it got going in the second half, as the ‘Hoos pulled away for a 61-43 win on Friday night at JPJ.

UVA (5-2) shot 59.3 percent from the floor in the second half, including 13-of-15 in one nine-plus-minute stretch that saw the lead go from 27-21 to 53-31.

Give Lehigh (1-5) credit for hanging around for about 25 minutes, holding the Cavaliers to 33.3 percent shooting in the first half.

But the Mountain Hawks simply couldn’t get anything consistent going on the offensive end, shooting 35.3 percent for the game, hitting on just 3-of-16 from three and committing 16 turnovers.

Balanced scoring for Virginia in this one, with Kihei Clark’s 11, on 5-of-7 shooting, leading the way. Reece Beekman was the other guy in double-figures, with 10.

Clark had seven assists. Virginia had 16 assists and nine turnovers all told.

Guard Armaan Franklin and big men Jayden Gardner, Kadin Shedrick and Francisco Caffaro each had eight points. Gardner had a team-high eight rebounds, Shedrick and Caffaro five each, and Shedrick had three blocks.

Not much else to write about here. The D was solid – Lehigh had 43 points on 58 possessions, .741 points per possession – and consistent, even when the offense wasn’t.

This isn’t a good Lehigh team, despite what the ACC Network guys told you – the Mountain Hawks were picked 10th, dead last, in the Patriot League in the preseason, but they were coming off their lone win to this point of the season, a 79-72 W over Columbia on Tuesday.

Next up for Virginia is Iowa in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Monday, with a 7 p.m. tipoff in JPJ.

Iowa is 6-0 with no wins over anybody significant – the Hawkeyes’ highest-rated opponent to date has been Missouri-Kansas City, 193rd in, and the game in Charlottesville next week will be their first away from home.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press