CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Virginia (21-14) missed two free throws in the final 30 seconds of play and St. Bonaventure (23-9) scored the last five points of the game to knock off the Cavaliers 52-51 in the quarterfinal round of the NIT at John Paul Jones Arena Tuesday night (March 22).
Virginia was led by Armaan Franklin, who for the second straight game scored 17 points with five made 3-pointers. Franklin finished 5-for-11 from the field, all of which were from distance, was 2-for-3 at the free throw line and pulled down six rebounds. Jayden Gardner also scored in double figures for the Cavaliers with 14 points on 7-of-15 shooting and added five boards. Kadin Shedrick also had a solid performance for UVA with eight points, nine rebounds and a pair of blocks.
With the loss, the Cavaliers’ 2021-22 season came to a close. UVA is now 19-12 all-time in the NIT. With an overall record of 21-14, Virginia has finished with 21 or more wins for the 10th time under head coach Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers’ 14th NIT appearance also marked its 10th straight postseason bid.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Franklin, who scored 17 straight points towards the tail end of UVA’s 71-69 second round win at North Texas, picked up right where he left off to open Tuesday’s game. Franklin knocked down his second 3-pointer of the game, which converted into a four-point play and gave the Cavaliers their first lead (11-8) of the game. However, it was the Bonnies who controlled the game for most of the opening half, leading for 12:16 of game time. After the four-point play by Franklin, St. Bonaventure out-scored UVA 13-6 the rest of the way to lead it 21-17 at the break. The Bonnies dominated the glass in the first half, out-rebounding Virginia 23-15 thanks to six SBU offensive boards. Eighteen of the Bonnies’ 21 first-half points came in the paint, while the Cavaliers only managed four points in the paint in the first 20 minutes of play. Franklin led all scorers at the break with seven points, all of which occurred in the first six minutes. After picking up his second personal foul, Franklin was forced to sit the final 3:43 of the opening half.
Franklin hit three 3-pointers in the second half, two of which gave UVA the lead once again. His fifth and final 3-pointer capped an 8-0 run by the Cavaliers before St. Bonaventure signaled for time with just under three minutes to play. With 1:38 remaining, Reece Beekman (6 points, 3-6 FG, 6 steals) was whistled for an offensive foul, his fifth personal foul of the game, leaving UVA without its starting guard for the rest of the contest. The Bonnies trailed 50-47 with 1:49 remaining and both teams went scoreless until SBU intentionally fouled Franklin with 30 seconds left. Franklin made his first 1-and-1 attempt, but missed the second. The Bonnies pushed the ball up the floor off the Franklin miss and drained a contested 3-pointer to cut the Virginia lead to 51-50 with 21 seconds remaining. Another intentional foul by SBU sent Gardner to the line and he missed the frontend of his 1-and-1. After an officials’ review of an out-of-bounds call, possession remained with St. Bonaventure, who attacked the basket and drew a shooting foul. SBU’s Kyle Lofton went 2-of-2 at the line to give the Bonnies’ a 52-51 lead – its first since the 5:07 mark in the second half – with just under five seconds to play. On the game’s final possession, Kihei Clark dribbled the length of the floor and threw up a floater that was blocked as time expired to send St. Bonaventure to the semifinals.