CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — In the first-ever meeting between Virginia (1-0) and North Carolina Central (0-1), it was the Cavaliers who came up victorious, 73-61, in their 2022-23 season opener at John Paul Jones Arena Monday night (Nov. 7). Virginia knocked down 11 3-pointers, which tied for the most made 3s by the Cavaliers in a single game since their win over Syracuse in the 2021 ACC Tournament.
Despite a 12-0 NCCU run early in the second half to flip the score, Virginia outpaced the Eagles, 30-17, the rest of the way to solidify the victory and improve to 12-2 in season openers under head coach Tony Bennett.
The Cavaliers were led by guard Armaan Franklin, who finished with a game-high 21 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range. Reece Beekman (10 pts, 5 asts), Kadin Shedrick (10 pts, 5 rebs) and Francisco Caffaro (10 pts, 3-3 FG, 4-5 FT) also scored in double figures for the Hoos.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia made its first three 3-pointers of the game, including a pair by Franklin, who led the Hoos at the half with 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting, all which were from downtown. Caffaro also gave UVA a nice lift off the bench, scoring six of his eight first-half points in a four-minute span during his first shift. Five consecutive UVA points by Franklin gave the Cavaliers their largest lead of the half, 31-15, with 7:08 to play, but the Eagles immediately cut the UVA lead in half with an 8-0 run of their own. Virginia’s last five points of the half came from the charity stripe as the Eagles committed 13 of their 25 total fouls in the first half, which resulted in the Cavaliers reaching the double bonus threshold with 7:23 remaining. UVA led 38-30 at halftime after assisting on eight of its nine made field goals and sinking 14 of its 16 attempts at the line. The Hoos also out-performed NCCU on the glass (21-13) in the first 20 minutes of play, including a 16-7 advantage on defensive rebounds.
A 12-0 scoring run by the Eagles early in the second half gave NCCU its first lead since scoring on the very first field goal attempt of the contest. However, the Cavaliers quickly shifted momentum back in their favor after Kihei Clark knocked down his first 3-pointer of the game, which was followed by a Beekman steal, who threw down a breakaway two-handed jam to get the JPJ crowd on its feet. Following the Beekman dunk, NCCU made a jumper, but UVA embarked on a 10-0 run – its largest of the game – to grasp a 58-46 lead with a little over 10 minutes to play. The Eagles struggled to put together any substantial scoring runs the rest of the way as UVA held on for the win.
THE GAME BALL GOES TO:
Armaan Franklin. Franklin, who finished second on the team in scoring last season (11.1 ppg), finished with a game-high 21 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 4-for-7 from deep. Franklin’s 21 points marked his fourth 20-point performance of his UVA career. He also went 7-for-8 from the charity stripe to tie his career high in free throws made and added four rebounds
The Cavaliers return to John Paul Jones Arena on Friday (Nov. 11) to host Monmouth (0-0). Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. on Regional Sports Networks (RSN). BUY TICKETS