ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Five Virginia (6-0) players in Reece Beekman (18 points), Kihei Clark (16 points), Jayden Gardner (12 points), Kadin Shedrick (12 points) and Ben Vander Plas (10 points) each scored in double figures in the Cavaliers’ comeback victory over Michigan (5-2) at the Crisler Center Tuesday night (Nov. 29) in this year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Third-ranked Virginia trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half and held the Wolverines to just two made field goals in the final 10 minutes of play.
In addition to a team-high 18 points, Beekman assisted on UVA’s final made basket of the night and came up with a steal with 15 seconds remaining to help seal the Cavaliers’ sixth consecutive victory to open the season. Along with his 12 points, Gardner grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds to record his 37th career double-double.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia trailed 45-34 – its largest deficit of the season – at halftime. Beekman, who did not exit the floor in the first half, led all scorers at the break with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Three-point shooting and rebounding proved to be the difference in the opening half as Michigan buried seven of its 13 attempts from deep, while UVA was 2-of-5. On the glass, the Wolverines out-rebounded Virginia, 16–9. Despite playing on the road in front of a crowd of 12,200, the Cavaliers got off to a strong, knocking down their first four field goal attempts of the game. UVA led by as many as seven points prior to the first media timeout. However, the Cavaliers’ lead slipped away when Michigan orchestrated a 13-2 run to grasp a 23-15 lead with 9:34 left in the period. For the most part, UVA kept it a two-possession game for the remainder of the half, but back-to-back Michigan layups, including one off a UVA giveaway with two seconds remaining, delivered the Wolverines’ largest lead of the half and ultimately the game.
The Cavaliers opened up the second half on a 14-5 scoring run to cut the Michigan lead to 50-48 before the Wolverines signaled for time. After trailing for nearly 25 minutes of game time, Virginia scored eight unanswered to regain the lead, 60-58, at the 7:25 mark. Michigan reclaimed its final lead of the game, 66-65, with 1:42 to play after scoring six straight points on four made free throws and a layup. Despite missing his previous seven shots from the field, Gardner buried a mid-range jumper after the Wolverines’ defense rotated to stop Beekman from attacking the lane. Gardner’s shot flipped the score to give UVA the lead once again, 67-66, with 40 seconds remaining before Beekman came up with a steal on the ensuing possession. Beekman was immediately fouled while having a clear path to the basket, so the Cavaliers retained possession after Beekman went 1-for-2 at the charity stripe. With 14 seconds on the game clock, Clark sunk both of his free throw attempts to make it a two-possession game (70-66) before Michigan made a layup eight seconds later. After UVA missed a pair of free throws with just five seconds left, the Wolverines pushed the ball up the court and attempted to heave a contested 3-pointer that never made it past the arc as time expired.
THE GAME BALL GOES TO:
Reece Beekman. Beekman led the Hoos with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting, grabbed four rebounds, tallied five assists, and came up with a steal with 16 seconds remaining to effectively solidify UVA’s sixth straight win. Beekman had 15 points in the first half on 6-of-7 shooting. Tonight’s scoring performance marked the second time this season he led the team in points. Beekman logged 38 minutes of action against the Wolverines.
Virginia opens ACC action against Florida State (1-7) on Saturday (Dec. 3). Tipoff at John Paul Jones Arena is set for 2 p.m. BUY TICKETS