SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Despite giving up 12 straight points in the second half, No. 6 Virginia (17-3, 9-2 ACC) held on to win its seventh straight game in a 67-62 decision over Syracuse (13-10, 6-6 ACC) at the JMA Wireless Dome Monday night (Jan. 30).

The Cavaliers’ seventh straight victory marks the second-longest active win streak by a Power-5 team, also good for ninth overall in the Division-I ranks.

Virginia was led by Jayden Gardner, who for the second straight game scored a team-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting and pulled down a team-best eight rebounds. Kihei Clark notched his third career double-double with 12 points and 10 assists in Saturday’s win. Armaan Franklin added 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting, including 3-for-9 from behind the arc.

Clark (4,904 minutes) passed Duke’s Kyle Singler (4,887 from 2008-11) for first on the ACC’s career minutes played list.

The Cavaliers led 36-35 at the half after Gardner tallied 10 points of 4-of-5 shooting and knocked down a pair of free throws. Both teams shot over 60 percent from the floor in the first half, including UVA which received scoring from seven different players and connected on 6 of its 10 attempts from 3-point range. Virginia’s balanced scoring attack was fueled by efficient ball movement as the Cavaliers assisted on 12 of its 13 made field goals, including five dimes from both Clark and Ben Vander Plas (7 points, 6 assists), in the first half. Although UVA was hot from deep to start, the Orange dominated the paint, outscoring the Cavaliers 26-8 in the first 20 minutes of play.

Virginia led for the first 10 minutes of the first half before the Orange scored nine straight points in the span of two minutes to ultimately go up by as many as three [26-23]. After the SU run, both teams found themselves knotted four more times before the buzzer went off, but the Orange did not reclaim the lead for the rest of the half.

Both teams cooled down in the second half, shooting 35 percent from the field each. The Orange grasped their largest lead of the game, 51-46, after scoring 12 unanswered midway through the second half. The run was the largest by either team all night. Minutes later, UVA scored seven straight points with the help of a pair of made 3s by Franklin as UVA took the lead once again, 57-54. From there, the Orange never recovered. Clark tallied five straight UVA points to put the Hoos up 64-58 at the 2:35 mark. After Syracuse cut UVA’s lead to two [64-62] on a pair of made free throws, UVA put together three consecutive stops the rest of the way to close out its seventh straight victory.

Franklin scored nine of his 12 total points in the second half and Gardner pulled down seven of his eight boards in last 20 minutes of play. Of Virginia’s 23 made field goals, 19 were assisted.

Kihei Clark. Clark, who collected his first career double-double at The Dome on Nov. 6, 2019, earned his third his career double-double with 12 points and 10 assists Monday night. Clark’s performance also marked his first double-double since Dec. 29, 2019, when he posted 10 points and 13 assists against Navy. Clark tallied five assists in both halves against the Orange. He also delivered a clutch 3-pointer to make it a two-possession game [62-58] with 3:04 to play and sunk a pair of free throws 30 seconds later to extend UVA’s lead down the stretch.

The Cavaliers travel to in-state rival Virginia Tech (13-8, 3-7) in a Smithfield Commonwealth Clash on Saturday (Feb. 4). Tipoff at Cassell Coliseum is set for Noon on ESPN2.

Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback Jalen Hurts (left) and defensive end Brandon Graham (right) sit courtside one day after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 in the NFC Championship game.