The UVA go 17-3 on the season and 9-2 in ACC play as the Virginia Cavaliers win by a final score of 67-62 over the Syracuse Orange. By winning, you have 5 points.

Jaden Gardner wins UVA match at the last minute

His play throughout the game was great, but two plays Jaden Gardner made at the last minute essentially won the game for the Wahoos. First, facing Jesse Edwards at the post, with a minute remaining, Gardner guarded Edwards with his face up, ignoring the five-inch height difference and effectively shuffling his legs, making Edwards As Syracuse’s big pulled out a charge on a drive to the left of . A man started contacting me. With that defense he stood and drew his charge, Gardner fouled Edwards out of the contest with 1:00 remaining and he gave the Cavaliers a great opportunity to put the game on ice with a 64-62 lead.

Then, with possession progressing, when the shot clock slowed and no one was able to create space inside the Syracuse zone, Gardner sprang into the middle of the defense, caught the ball, and 6’11-inch Mounir Hima’s 12-foot 10-foot shot. I drove to my chest and stepped. Hit a fadeaway midrange jump shot to make Virginia 4 points and 2 possessions with 33 seconds remaining.

As mentioned above, Gardner’s stellar performance didn’t end with those two plays. His 17 points, 8 rebounds (5 offensively), 2 steals, 6-11 shooting from the floor, and 5-7 performance at the free-throw line paved the way for the UVA . Offensively, he was a very strong shooter in the soft spots of the Syracuse Zone, playing on the grass and finishing strong at the rim. Defensively, he was particularly good both on and off ball when he had to guard Edwards in the second half.

On the trip, Gardner stitched together two season-best games in the past three days after scoring 18 points against Boston College on Saturday. This veteran has looked outward at times during this streak, but he was clearly ready and came out big when the team needed it. am.

Kadin Shedrick’s play matters

Ahead of this season, Kadin Shedrick looked poised for a breakout season.The Red Shirt Juniors season typically saw Virginia big truly establish themselves and find consistency. Not only is it time, but after last season he seemed very close to closing out his game and becoming UVA’s dominant big. His offensive game is expanding. In between, his potential as a player is always high, as he can block shots, blow up ball screens, and be a defensive fiend that makes his teammates’ lives easier. sounded like he could be a big-time player for the Cavaliers in the paint.

Alas, despite showing Flash as an efficient finisher and playmaking defensive center early in the season, foul trouble (Schedrick ranked 92nd out of 92 qualifying ACC players in fouls per 40 minutes), the general Inconsistencies, and unfortunately silly mistakes, remain a team without a true center to turn to when needed.

That missing piece against Syracuse was evident as the Orange ran their offense primarily through center Jesse Edwards, finishing with 14 points, 7 rebounds (4 offense) and 3 assists. Shedrick played 11 minutes in which he fouled three times in that stretch. Without Shedrick as a reliable individual defender for Edwards, UVA was left scrambled as Vander his plus and Gardner usually struggled for Syracuse to his center height and length.

Luckily, the two worked well together to get enough stops to take the win. But Shedrick’s play these days is justifiably concerning when the Futh take on star big men like Duke’s Kyle Filipowski, North Carolina’s Armando Baco and his PJ Hall at Clemson. The team clearly recognizes that defending the post is one of Virginia’s weaknesses, and it’s only a matter of time before he starts paying the price.

Virginia freshman continues to prove his worth in big moments

Justin Taylor and Malik Brown from Virginia (and the Charlottesville area) played 71 minutes in this game, so UVA’s Isaac McNeely and Ryan Dunn clearly had an issue. Dunn and McKneely have had their moments on this team, even though he plays for a team with more depth and experience than Taylor and Brown.

Mneely’s pair of triples in the first half helped prevent the offense from slipping into a lull as the Syracuse Zone was stifling the Wahoo offense, but his usually error-free offensive game was a slam-dunk. We kept Orange honest throughout the game. He also added four tough defensive rebounds in 18 minutes.

In just eight minutes of action, Dunn was quiet (as usual) and quiet. He provided a decent changeup at defensive end when Virginia was struggling to find a way to stop Jesse Edwards, but his one-handed dunk off a back-alley whoop pass from Kihei Clarke was typical. It was a typical highlight reel-dang method.

Dunn and McKneely continuing to gain late-game experience is beneficial in both the short and long term.

Full UVA Experience

The youngsters had their moments, but this was still a game for Virginia that showed the value of getting older and staying older. Just as fifth-grader Gardner played incredible, so did fellow supers his senior Kihei Clark and Ben Vander his plus. Clark, who achieved a double-double, scored 12 points, recorded 10 assists and scored 5 points in his 3:04 final in regulation. With his clutch 3-pointer and his pair of free throws on back-to-back possessions, Wahoo extended his lead from his 59. 58 to 64-58.

BVP was also particularly important to play in the Syracuse zone. His passing ability and knack for creating space and finding open teammates earned him 6 assists, 7 points and he also recorded 7 rebounds.

Indeed, Clark recorded five turnovers, while Vander Plath had three. But against a long and well-trained zone defense like Syracuse, that’s what happens when you need a tight window pass to create an open look. and continues to win UVA matches. These guys have been in these moments over and over again and feel comfortable playing in the clutch.

The next three games could decide UVA’s end at the ACC

With seven straight wins, the Cavaliers still control their destiny in the ACC. No. 1 Clemson could come to Charlottesville on his February 28th to determine who will win the conference title on a regular basis for his season. Still, things can and probably will change dramatically before that game is played.

Virginia’s next three games are UVA’s toughest opponents this season. By playing Virginia Tech in Blacksburg this Saturday, hosting North Carolina State on Tuesday, and bringing the Duke Blue Devils into town on the 11th to wrap up a tough week, the Foos are here to finish the regular season. I could decide to succeed or fail.

Winning all three sets UVA in excellent shape to win the ACC in games spanning action over the next week against Louisville (very bad), Notre Dame (relatively bad) and Boston College (bad). After tidying up, I headed to Chapel Hill. They then face Clemson and then at home against Louisville to close out the regular season (again, really bad). Assuming those 4 quad 4 games come down as wins, if in the remaining 5 games he goes 4-1 or better, in Greensboro he gets a 1 seed. should be enough to

Of course, the 10-1 Clemson Tigers are the team UVA should worry about challenging them for that spot. But given how the Tigers have played on the road this season, and the fact that they’ve won some close games (Look at you, folks in Florida), it’s safe to say they’re at least 2 more off the schedule. Dropping games seems reasonable (that includes home vs. Miami, on-the-away North Carolina, home vs. Syracuse, North Carolina State, and away vs. Virginia).

This seven-game winning streak was huge for Tony Bennett and company. If they keep at it, things should start to go well.

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