Without a doubt the best all around performance the Virginia Cavaliers have turned in during this young season defeating the Providence Friars 58-40 in Newark to win the Roman Legends Classic.
The team got back to Virginia basketball by limiting Providence on the offensive side of the ball and hitting the shots many have expected them to hit.
The first half was the Armaan Franklin show as the Indiana transfer continues to woo UVA fans with his offensive prowess. 5-7 from the field and 4-6 from behind the line, Franklin turned in 14 of UVA’s 30 30 first half points. Jayden Gardner continued to supplement Franklin with 10 points of his own.
Heading into half with a 15 point lead, it looked like the Cavaliers might be able to coast to an easy win, but the Friars had other ideas eventually cutting the second half lead to just 6 points thanks in large part to 11 second half turnovers from UVA and early foul trouble allowing the Friars into the double bonus with more than 10 minutes left in the half.
The Hoos would respond in a large way with Reece Beekman facilitating to the tune of 5 second half assists and Kadin Shedrick throwing in 4 blocks. Gardner and Kihei Clark would pace the offense with 11 and 10 points in the second half respectively.
The biggest takeaway from the game might be that the UVA defense is back. Providence entered the game with an efficient offense that shot nearly 60% from the field and just under 40% from beyond the arc. UVA held the Friars to just 23% shooting from the field and an ugly 13% (3-22) from three.
Now riding a three game winning streak, UVA will return home to host Lehigh on Friday before the Iowa Hawkeyes come to Charlottesville on Monday for the ACC-B1G Challenge.