The Cavaliers played far from the best basketball on the road Monday night.
Jaden Gardner scored 17 points and made three clutch plays in a row as No. 6 Virginia extended UVA’s winning streak to seven games with a 67-62 victory over Syracuse on Monday at the JMA Wireless Dome.
For all the drama that ultimately unfolds in this game, the opening minutes of the contest were all ingredients of a comfortable win for the Cavaliers. Aaman Franklin and Ben Vanderplass urged Jim Boheim’s early her timeout.
The Oranges then began to have success with scoring inside the UVA defense, but Virginia held on to the lead. Kihei Clarke threw an alley-oop dunk to Kadin Shedrick on back-to-back possessions and Isaac Manneely hit a 3-pointer to make him 23-17 midway through the first half, but then the Oranges started running. Charlottesville native Justin Taylor hit a three-point shot, then a middle-range jumper, and freshman star Judah Mintz hit back-to-back jumpers as the Oranges took his 9-0 lead.
Syracuse center Jesse Edwards had just four points on 2-for-5 shooting and four turnovers in the Cavaliers’ 73-66 win over the two teams in their first game of the season on Jan. 7. In a rematch 23 days later, Edwards resolved to redeem himself. Neither the double teaming of Jaden Gardner and Ben Vander Plath nor the straight-up defense of Kadin Shedrick were effective, so even with UVA guarding him, the 6-foot-11 center was a force on the inside. . Virginia’s focus on defending him in the first half created opportunities for the Syracuse guards to get open shots from the midrange area. 5 points, another Virginia native. Malik Brown scored 6 points on a perfect 3/3 shot in the first half.
The Orange shot a staggering 64.0% from the floor in the first 20 minutes, narrowly beating the Cavaliers who shot 61.9% from the field in the first half. Syracuse scored 26 of their 35 points in the first half in the paint, but Virginia took the lead into the halftime break thanks to a three-ball. Foose hit six of his ten three-point attempts in the first half, two of them from Isaac Mneely, and Virginia held on to a 36–35 lead at halftime.
Both offenses were firing on all cylinders in the first half, but in the second half both teams cooled off and performed better on defense.
Much like the first half, the Cavaliers started the second half strong, putting together a 6-0 run to open up a 42-35 lead and triggering another timeout from Jim Boheim. Orange flared up from that timeout, scoring his next 12 points to completely turn the momentum of the game upside down. Judah Mintz sparked a run with his three-pointer play, and Chris Bell scored his next six. Edwards then outscored Shedrick at the post and also scored a foul on a three-point play to cap off a 12-0 run and give Syracuse their biggest lead at 51-46.
Foul trouble became an issue for the Cavaliers midway through the second half, as Syracuse earned the bonus with over ten minutes left in regulation. Luckily for Virginia, the Oranges only attempted 11 of their 18 free throw attempts, leaving a ton of points on the table. After missing nine of ten shots midway through the second half, Ryan Dunn finished off a long alley-oop from Clark with a one-handed dunk to get the Cavaliers offensive.
With less than four minutes remaining, the Oranges held a 54-51 lead and were close to a season-changing victory over a ranked six team in the country. The Cavaliers then finally got a three-ball again after no three-balls fell at all during his first 16 minutes of the second half. Aaman Franklin hit his two big three-pointers and Virginia took the lead, but Syracuse quickly fought back and Judah his Mintz layup saw him tie the score at 57-57. .
Reese Beekman struck out on Jesse Edwards, drawing Edwards’ fourth personal foul and making both free throws to put the Cavaliers back in front. Ben Vander An aggressive rebound from his plus led to another huge his 3-pointer as Kihei Clark flew a triple off the top of the key. Clark then made several free throws to give Virginia a six-point lead with two and a half minutes remaining.
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Orange isn’t over yet. After Judah Mintz won the basket and finished with an acrobatic layup and UVA emptied on the next possession, Mintz drew a foul and scored his throws on both frees with him with 1:47 remaining. He made it 64-62.
Jaden Gardner missed a midrange jumper to give the Oranges a chance to tie the game or take the lead with just over a minute remaining. rice field. Virginia left Gardner alone to guard Jesse Edwards one-on-one, and Edwards attempted to drive to the basket, but Gardner drew the charge, handing possession back to UVA and, more importantly, Edwards. gave him his fifth personal foul.
On Virginia’s next possession, Gardner hit a clutch stepback jumper from the free-throw line to put the Cavaliers back by four points with 33 seconds remaining. Gardner then stole a big defensive rebound from a missed three from Mintz to seal the win as Virginia won 67–62.
Gardner finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, including five offensive rebounds, and two steals, not to mention three clutch game-winning plays. Kihei Clark hit his 12-point, 10-assist double-double, and Aaman Franklin scored his 12 points, including his 3-pointer. Ben Vander added that he had 7 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Judah Mintz led all scorers with 20 points on 8/13 shooting, while Jesse Edwards finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Syracuse outscored Virginia by his 36-20 in the paint, but UVA was out of turnovers compared to Syracuse’s 11, even though both teams turned the ball over his 14th. was 20 points clear of him.
It was a far from great performance for the Cavaliers, but they still found a way to win on the road against a capable and crappy Syracuse team, completing a season sweep past the Orange and extending UVA’s current winning streak to seven. extended to the game.
Virginia, currently trailing 17-3 and 9-2 in the ACC, will play Virginia Tech in Round 2 of the Commonwealth Clash in Blacksburg on Saturday at 12:00 PM.
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