Virginia vs. Syracuse – Men’s College Basketball Game Recap – January 30, 2023
SYRACUSE, NY — Jayden Gardner scored 17 points and made a jump near the foul line in the last minute as No. 6 Virginia withstood a second-half surge from Syracuse and his seventh straight game at 67 on Monday night : 62 won.
Gardner, a fifth-grader, drew a minute from the end of the fifth foul on Syracuse big man Jesse Edwards, then converted the shot with 37 seconds left to hit the Cavaliers (17-3, 9-2 Atlantic Coast Conference ). at four up.
“You have to have the mentality of a shooter,” Gardner said. “I missed a good look at the baseline so I made up for it on defense and finished the game. I was hoping (for the charge). If he had called a block it would have been demoralizing.”
Kihei Clark and Armaan Franklin each scored 12 points for Virginia, who defeated Syracuse and drew within a game of ACC leader Clemson.
Judah Mintz had 20 points and Edwards had 14 for Syracuse (13-10, 6-6), who have lost four of five.
Virginia led twice by eight points early in the first half, the biggest advantage for both teams. The Cavaliers took a 46-39 lead early in the second half before Syracuse started a 12-0 run that included a three-point play from Mintz, a 3-point and three free throws from Chris Bell, and a three- Points game involved Edwards.
“In the first half we started well defensively and made a lot of shots, then Syracuse really took it. They simply got the ball in the color at will, scored over the top. We looked a little lifeless,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “We didn’t fly around and wreck like you have to do on the street or in any ACC game. In the second half we got more aggressive, flew around, played a little harder offensively with cuts and offensive rebounds, and then it was just a game of ups and downs. We just had to stay the course.
“It is,” he added. “You get the best of everyone.”
Franklin helped rally the Cavaliers by hitting consecutive 3s for a 57-54 lead. Clark contributed a 3 with 3:10 remaining and two free throws with 2:35 remaining to give Virginia a six point advantage.
The Cavaliers had a quick turnaround, flying to Syracuse Sunday night after beating Boston College at home a day earlier.
“I think our tired legs showed,” Gardner said, “but we found a way to win. Not every game becomes a blowout. This was a grind-it-out game, so it’s good to come up with another way to win. It’s a good experience, so we’ll know what to do with it in March.”
Syracuse closed two points late, but Edward’s offensive foul cost the Orange a change to level the game.
The Orange shot 50% against Virginia’s typically strong defense, but only went 3 of 15 from 3-point range and 11 of 18 (61.1%) from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Virginia shot 9 of 21 (42.9%) from long range and managed to feed Gardner into the post for easy baskets against the Syracuse Zone.
“We played by far the best game we’ve played all year,” said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. “We had a lot of open shots. You won’t beat Virginia if you shoot 3/15/3. If we make our free throws, we win.
“They beat us like they beat everyone else.”
Virginia: The Cavaliers are unbeaten since a 68-65 loss in Pittsburgh on Jan. 3, and their current streak began with a 73-66 win over Syracuse. This is Bennett’s deepest team since the 2018-19 squad that won the national title, thanks in part to big contributions from newcomers Isaac McKneely and Ryan Dunn.
Syracuse: Boeheim’s Orange was shaky on their home ground to take a 3-3 lead in the ACC game at the cavernous JMA Wireless Dome.
Syracuse second forward Benny Williams, a former five-star recruit, did not take part in the game. He lost his starting role Saturday at Virginia Tech to freshman Malik Brown, who was starting his second straight game against the Cavaliers. Boeheim said Williams is taking a “personal day” and will be back in training on Tuesday.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts watched the game a day after leading his team to the Super Bowl with a 31-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game.
Virginia: At Virginia Tech on Saturday.
Syracuse: Saturday at Boston College.
AP College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP – -Top25