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No. 11 Virginia topples Syracuse in wire-to-wire win

Jan 7, 2023; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA;  Syracuse Orange guard Judah Mintz (3) shoots the ball as Virginia Cavaliers guard Reece Beekman (2) defends in the first halfat John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Armaan Franklin scored 16 points to lead five double-digit scorers as No. 11 Virginia posted a 73-66 home win over Syracuse on Saturday in ACC action at Charlottesville, Va.

After losing three of their previous five games, the Cavaliers (11-3, 3-2 ACC) authored a much crisper performance in this one, as they shot 12 of 26 from the 3-point arc and led wire-to-wire.

Reece Beekman chipped in 13 points and seven assists for Virginia, while Kihei Clark recorded 11 assists.

Joe Girard III had 19 points and Judah Mintz pitched in 18 for the Orange (10-6, 3-2), who had won six of their previous seven games.

Virginia led 57-35 with under 12 minutes remaining when Syracuse uncorked a 13-0 run. Mintz scored the first seven points of the burst and Girard drained a 3-pointer to make it a 12-point game.

Girard made a jumper and a 3-pointer to bring the Orange within 64-56 with 2:15 left, and Chris Bell’s 3-pointer made it a seven-point game with 37 seconds to go.

The Cavaliers kept the door open as Franklin missed two free throws, but Kadin Shedrick blocked Girard’s layup on the other end, and the hosts held on for the win.

Virginia jumped out to an 11-2 lead just 2 1/2 minutes into the game. Franklin hit a 3-pointer on the Cavaliers’ opening possession, then made another just over a minute later and a third just 2:27 into the contest.

Shortly thereafter, Beekman and Isaac McNeely made back-to-back 3-pointers to give Virginia its first double-digit lead at 19-9.

The Cavaliers later went on a 7-0 run — all the points coming from Jayden Gardner and Clark — to go ahead 35-18 with 3:42 left in the half. However, the Orange scored the final eight points of the stanza — the final four by Mintz — to slice their deficit to 35-26 at the break.

The second half followed a similar theme, as Franklin drained a quick 3-pointer to ignite an early burst by the home team. The Cavaliers scored the first 12 points of the second half, capped by Ben Vander Plas’ 3-pointer, to open a commanding 47-26 advantage before Syracuse made things interesting down the stretch.

–Field Level Media