NOTRE DAME, Ind. — After trailing by eight points with 39 seconds to play, Virginia (12-9, 6-5 ACC) cut its deficit to 67-65 with eight seconds remaining, but Notre Dame (14-6, 7-2 ACC) made a pair of free throws to hold on to win 69-65 at Purcell Pavilion Saturday night.
Virginia’s Jayden Gardner (22 points, 10 rebounds) and Francisco Caffaro (11 points, 12 rebounds) both collected double-doubles, marking the second time this season two Cavaliers registered double-doubles in a single game. Caffaro’s double-double also marked the first of his career. Reece Beekman (13 points, 5-10 FG) and Kihei Clark (12 points, six assists) also scored in double figures for the Hoos.
Both teams were nearly even shooting from the field as Virginia shot 46 percent from the field, while the Fighting Irish shot 47 percent, but Notre Dame never trailed for the final 36:20 of game time. Despite Virginia winning the rebound margin, (39-26) and scoring 14 second-chance points, while the Irish failed to score a single second-chance point, Notre Dame held on to improve to 9-0 at home this season. The Irish connected on 10 3-pointers, while UVA only made three.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame held a 34-27 lead at intermission after the Irish shot 52 percent (12-23 FG) in the first 20 minutes of play. UVA shot 34 percent (10-29 FG) from the field and was just 2-of-10 from 3-point range. Despite six turnovers, the Cavaliers stayed within striking distance after collecting nine offensive rebounds, which contributed to UVA’s 14 second-chance points, all of which came in the first half. After scoring the first basket of the game, Gardner tallied the Cavaliers’ final 10 points of the half to lead the Cavaliers in scoring at the break with 12 total points. Gardner shot 5-for-10 from the field and knocked down both of his attempts at the charity stripe. Of Virginia’s nine offensive rebounds, Gardner pulled down five offensive boards, closing out the first half with eight total rebounds en route to his notching his 35th career double-double and fifth of the season.
The Cavaliers trailed by as many as 15 points (52-37) with 11:50 to play in the second half. Then, Virginia scored eight unanswered points to get back into the game. After not scoring a single point in the first half, Clark tallied 10 of his 12 second-half points with under 10 minutes to play, including a 3-pointer to cut the Irish’s lead to 67-65 with eight seconds left on the clock. The Cavaliers were then compelled to foul to pause the clock, but Notre Dame made a pair of free throws to make it a two-possession game in the waning seconds of Saturday’s contest before earning its fourth consecutive win in as many tries.
Virginia hosts Boston College (8-11, 3-6 ACC) in ACC action on Tuesday, Feb. 1. Tipoff at John Paul Jones Arena is set for 6 p.m. on ACC Network.