Greensboro, NC – Reece Beekman hit a 3-pointer as time expired to help No. 16 Virginia edge Syracuse 72-69 in Thursday’s quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
Beekman hadn’t hit a shot all day but buried a 3 from the right wing off a feed from Kihei Clark as the horn sounded. That sent Beekman sprinting immediately towards the other end of the court with his teammates pursuing him at full speed before finally gathering with him near the far baseline to celebrate.
That shot helped the top-seeded Cavaliers (18-6) grind out a win after trailing by 11 in the first half while struggling to slow Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim.
Sam Hauser scored 21 points to lead Virginia, which made 4 of 5 3s to close the game in the final 5 1/2 minutes.
Boeheim finished with a career-high 31 points for the eighth-seeded Orange (16-9), a day after he scored 27 points in Syracuse’s tournament opener.
2021 New York Life ACC Tournament
No. 1 Virginia 72, No. 8 Syracuse 69
- Virginia (18-6) moved on to Friday’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal game and will face the winner of Thursday’s second semifinal game between No. 4 seed Georgia Tech (15-8) and No. 13 Miami (10-16). The Cavaliers swept the regular-season series from Georgia Tech (winning 64-62 at home Jan. 23 and 57-49 on the road Feb. 10). Virginia also prevailed in its lone game versus Miami, winning 62-51 on March 1.
-Virginia has advanced to the ACC Tournament semifinals in six of the last seven ACC tournaments and for the 26th time overall. The Cavaliers are playing as the No. 1 seed for the ACC Tournament for the sixth time in school history and fifth under head coach Tony Bennett (2014-2015-2018-2019-2021).
- The Cavaliers are 43-63 all-time in the ACC Tournament and 18-24 in Greensboro, including the 2014 tournament title.
- Virginia has posted a 10-3 mark as the top seed in the ACC Tournament (1-1 in 1981, 3-0 in 2014, 1-1 in 2015, 3-0 in 2018, 1-1 in 2019 and 1-0 in 2021).
-The Cavaliers are now 12-8 all-time under Tony Bennett in the ACC Tournament.
- The team-leading 23 points by Virginia’s Sam Hauser on Thursday were one short of his season high set against Louisville in last week’s regular-season finale. Hauser has hit double figures in each of his last seven games and has scored at least 20 points six times this season.
- Trey Murphy III’s 15 points for the Cavaliers included a pair of clutch 3-pointers and two free throws in the final 3:34 of the game.
- With 13 points and 12 rebounds, Virginia senior Jay Huff posted his sixth double-double of the season and the 10th of his career.
- The game-winning 3-point shot by Virginia freshman Reece Beekman as time expired accounted for his only points of the game. Two of the eight games so far in the 2021 ACC Tournament have been decided on buzzer-beating 3-pointers (also Notre Dame’s first-round win over Wake Forest on Tuesday night).
- Syracuse guard Buddy Boeheim followed up Wednesday’s 27-point performance against NC State with 31 points on Thursday – the highest single-game point total by an Orange player in the ACC Tournament since the program’s entry into the conference for the 2013-14 season. Boeheim eclipsed the previous school-record 28 by Frank Howard versus Duke in the 2019 quarterfinals in Charlotte.
- Boeheim has averaged 22 points in five career ACC Tournament games, scoring at least 15 points in each. Thursday marked his 17th double-figure scoring game of the season and the 55th of his career. Boeheim scored at least 20 points for ninth time this season and the 21st time in his career.
- With 14 points and 10 rebounds, Syracuse sophomore Quincy Guerrier registered his 11th career double-double and his eighth of this season.
- The Orange slipped to 4-6 in the ACC Tournament and to 2-3 in games played in Greensboro.