The Virginia Cavaliers finished up their regular season in the friendly confines of the KFC Yum! Center, beating the Louisville Cardinals 71-61 as UVA now looks ahead to the ACC Tournament.
Kadin Shedrick and Reece Beekman led the ‘Hoos as the two second years displayed their crazy potential. Shedrick scored a career-high 20 points on an incredibly efficient 8-9 shooting. He also grabbed five offensive boards.
Meanwhile, Beekman filled the stat-sheet as he totaled 15 points, corralled 12 rebounds, dished out five assists, and had 5 steals along with a block. He also shot 3-3 from beyond the arc as he continues to show his growth and development as a shooter. As one of the favorites for ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Beekman made one final case to beat other top defenders like Mark Williams and Leaky Black.
Kody Stattmann and Armaan Franklin each also scored in double figures for the Wahoos. Stattmann’s contributions alongside Shedrick’s gave Virginia a rare but significant boost off the bench with 31 points.
Virginia started slow as Louisville opened up an 8-0 lead at the sixteen-minute mark. But, from that point on UVA went on a ridiculous 36-9 run to seize control of the game. The Wahoo defense was stellar all game long and especially in that sixteen minute stretch as Louisville had little to nothing going offensively.
The Cardinals did scare Virginia fans everywhere as they made a 12-3 run to open the second half. That put the score at 39-29 with just over sixteen minutes remaining in regulation. The game was a back-and-forth affair from then on. The closest Louisville got was seven points and while the Cardinals had opportunities to draw closer, the ‘Hoos were too efficient offensively to let them back in.
Now, Virginia heads to Brooklyn where they’ll need to win four games in four days to win the ACC Tournament and clinch an automatic bid. Otherwise, UVA will likely be back in JPJ for the NIT.