Virginia men’s basketball will face Georgia Tech in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve in its final game of 2022. After resting with an injury with Albany, Junior his guard Reese Beekman returned to the lineup to help the Cavaliers.
An offensive outburst saw the No. 11 Cavaliers (10-2, 2-1) beat the Yellow Jackets (7-6, 0-3) 74-56, earning a highly rated 1 We closed out the year.
The first half saw Virginia get off to a quick start as senior guard Aaman Franklin hit two early 3s in the first two minutes. However, Yellow’s jackets were tough and he stayed close to Virginia thanks to a key shot by his sophomore guard Myles Kelly.
Graduate guard Kihei Clarke and freshman guard Isaac Maneely also hit three-pointers, and Maneely’s 3 gave Virginia a 21-12 lead. However, the Cavaliers were unable to maintain their lead, with Yellow his jacket crawling to put him 27-25 into a two-point deficit with him 2:58 on the rest.
Franklin’s 3-pointer with 1:49 left in the first half would start Virginia’s 25-0 run over halftime. With 14:41 remaining and the score she remained at 52-25, Virginia ended the first half with his nine unanswered points and entered the locker room leading 36-25. game.
A three-pointer ignited the run, while key jumpers and dunks from junior forward Kadin Shedrick and graduate forward Jayden Gardner also supported the offense. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers forced Yellow his seven turnovers off his Jackets in his first five minutes of the second half.
Georgia Tech fought back, driving to the basket for a layup and a free throw to cut into Virginia’s lead, but the Virginia offense responded with three pointers and a layup. The Yellow Jackets’ closest to the Cavaliers was his 18 points, which senior forward Javon Franklin laid up with his 46 seconds remaining to go 74-56.
The key to winning and attacking success was the three-point shot. The Cavaliers had his 10-22 shots from across the arc, from four different players. Clark and Beekman each had two of his 3-pointers, while McKeely and Franklin each had three.
A great shot helped the Cavaliers tear up the Yellow Jackets zone. More importantly, Virginia had him over 70 points for the first time since November 29, when the Cavaliers beat Michigan 70-68. Virginia has scored over 70 points this season as he went 7-0.
Virginia’s leading performers included Gardner and Clark. Gardner shot 7-12 from the field, giving the Cavaliers 14 points, while Clarke shot 6-9 for 15 points and had eight assists. Clarke leads the ACC in assists and nationally he ranks 17th.
Kelly came off the Yellow Jackets’ bench and was mostly absent in the first half. He finished with his 20 points, including his 5-9 from across the arc. But his 23 turnovers for Georgia Tech and his 3-point shots for Virginia were too much for Yellow’s jacket to overcome.
Coach Tony Bennett talked about the impressive run his team took over the game.
“This kind of run has been a long time coming,” said Bennett. “And it felt good.”
With this win, Bennett is now tied with coaching legend Terry Holland on 326 for the first time in school history.
Going forward, shooting performances like this and a re-aggressive defense will determine the Cavaliers’ ability to become the top team in the country. How Virginia looked in his November (Continental tires his main he won the event and beaten a ranked team) is similar to how he looked against Georgia Tech. I’m here.