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Cavaliers Miracle a Comeback to Stun Pitt 57-56 in ACC Opener

Jayden Gardner’s 5 points in the last 10 seconds save UVA from embarrassment. Jayden Gard

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A game that most will want to forget broke the Virginia Cavaliers’ way over the last ten seconds to save the ACC opener for UVA.

After going scoreless for more than five minutes and not making a field goal for more than seven minutes down the stretch, the Hoos were facing an embarrassing loss in the face as Pitt stormed back to take a 56-52 lead with under 30 seconds left.

Virginia’s Jayden Gardner had other ideas as he made an old fashioned three point play with 10 seconds left to cut the lead to 56-55.

After that the miracles came in waves.

UVA was able to force a 5 second violation on the inbound play for Pitt giving UVA the ball down one with 10 seconds left.

The second miracle came from Gardner again as he made a fall away shot that bounced on the rim more than a few times to give UVA the end lead with 0.9 left on the clock and seal the 1-0 ACC start for UVA.

Tony Bennett surely won’t be pleased with the performance of the Cavaliers though. The previously mentioned 7+ minute offensive desert down the stretch was one thing, but the Hoos couldn’t put Pitt away at the end of the 1st half and beginning of the second half that saw UVA give up a 10 point lead with further offensive struggles.

Overall the team shot less than 50% from the field and shot just 19% in the game from beyond the arc. No UVA player made more than one three and Reece Beekman and Aarman Franklin combined to go 0-10 from three.

Offensive struggles aside, a win is a win that looks the same in the standings. A 1-0 start is what UVA needed to have coming into the night and they got just that. They’ll be on the road on Tuesday as they travel to James Madison.