CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Virginia’s (2-0) bench helped lift the Hoos past Florida (1-1), 73-70, in a Hall of Fame Series clash on Friday night (Nov. 10) at the Spectrum Center.
UVA’s bench outscored Florida’s reserves, 26-4, from the help of Blake Buchanan (18 points, 7 rebounds) and Dante Harris (6 points, 2 steals). Reece Beekman (13 points, 5 assists, 4 steals) and Jake Groves (12 points, 2-3 from three) also finished in double figures.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After the Gators opened up the game with a 14-7 lead at the first media timeout, Virginia’s bench launched on an 11-0 run, capped off by a Leon Bond III layup, to give the Hoos their first lead of the contest. The Cavaliers finished the first half trading buckets with Florida, going 5-for-7 from the field down the stretch to take a 39-35 lead heading into halftime. Beekman led all scorers at the break with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
Minutes into the second half, Groves scored 10 straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers, which gave Virginia its largest lead of the night [11 points]. Florida orchestrated a 14-1 run midway through the period to take a 57-55 advantage before the Cavaliers regained the lead shortly after following seven unanswered points. With UVA up 72-70 with 11 seconds left on the clock, Beekman forced a Florida turnover, his fourth steal of the game, to prevent the Gators from getting off a last second shot and sealed the victory for the Hoos with a free throw.
THE GAME BALL GOES TO:
Blake Buchanan. The first year forward scored 18 of Virginia’s 26 bench points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and knocked down 10 of his 16 free throws. Buchanan also chipped in seven rebounds.
Virginia hosts North Carolina A&T in a non-conference contest on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Tipoff at John Paul Jones Arena is set for 7 p.m. on ACCNX.