INDIANAPOLIS – Virginia men’s basketball’s (18-7) 2020-21 season ended with a 62-58 loss to 13-seed Ohio (17-7) in the NCAA Tournament First Round on Saturday night at Assembly Hall.
Sam Hauser (Stevens Point, Wis.) led the Cavaliers with 15 points and nine rebounds. Trey Murphy III (Durham, N.C.) had 12 points, while Jay Huff (Durham, N.C.) and Kihei Clark (Woodland Hills, Calif.) each finished with nine. Huff also had four blocks.
Virginia shot 35 percent from the floor and 26 percent from 3-point range, while Ohio shot 42 percent from the field and 30 percent beyond the arc. Ohio out-rebounded the Cavaliers 38-29 and led 26-18 in points in the paint. Ben Vander Plas led Ohio with 17 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia opened the game by hitting three 3-pointers to lead 9-3. Ohio came back to tie it up three times, but back-to-back threes from Casey Morsell (Fort Washington, Md.) and Murphy III put UVA ahead 24-17 with 3:57 remaining in the first half. Ohio hit a three just before the buzzer as UVA lead 28-27 at the break.
Hauser hit a three to begin the second half. The Cavaliers matched their largest lead of the game as they went up 38-31 after a 6-0 run. Ohio went on an 18-2 run that including eight points from Vander Plas. Virginia cut the lead to two with 2:24 to play and then a three by Murphy III cut it to 60-58 with eight seconds left, but Ohio hit both free throws to seal the win.
FROM HEAD COACH TONY BENNETT
“We wanted a chance to play in this tournament. We got the chance. First, credit to Ohio for how they played. Well-coached. They played tough. They made some big plays down the stretch. But our guys were hopeful that we’d get this opportunity. The NCAA allowed us to come in, in a unique way. But thankful for it. It just stings right now to not advance in this tournament. It’s such a special tournament. It’s the last game of the year that’s always tough. I know our guys are feeling it right now. We had some chances. I’m sure I’ll get asked that question. Don’t know if we got tired down the stretch or felt a little bit of the pressure, but thought we got some good looks. Just had a pretty poor shooting day, very poor shooting day from three with some quality shots. But again, they did a solid job defensively.”
- Virginia (18-7) made its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance
- UVA won 18 or more games for the 10th straight season
- UVA forced its 19th shot clock violation
- UVA’s three turnovers marked a season low
- Hauser finished his career with 1,682 points (400 in one season at Virginia)
- Huff (4 blocked shots) recorded his 19th multi-block game (46th career)
- Reece Beekman matched a career high with two blocked shots