Virginia capitalizes on big first half for 71-61 win over Louisville

Virginia forward Kadin Shedrick (21) goes up for a shot over Louisville forwards JJ Traynor (12) and Sydney Curry (21) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, March 5, 2022. Virginia won 71-61. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) (Timothy D. Easley, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Reece Beekman had 15 points, a career-high 12 rebounds, five assists and five steals for the Cavaliers, who secured the sixth seed to the conference tournament that begins Tuesday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Kadin Shedrick scored 16 of his career-high 20 points when he was perfect on seven shots from the floor to help Virginia build a 19-point halftime lead that the Cavaliers used to withstand a Cardinals surge in the second half. Beekman had 15 points. Sydney Curry, a junior college transfer, had season highs of 24 points with 14 rebounds for his third double-double this season. 

“We started the game I was a little bit concerned because they got off to a good start and we weren’t quite sharp, bobbled some balls, but I really did like how they responded with their defense in the first half, and then we got some significant contributions off the bench,” said head coach Tony Bennett. “I thought Kody (Stattmann) and Kadin (Shedrick) were terrific in the first half, getting different kinds of buckets and being active. If you look at Reece’s (Beekman) stat line it was quite a stat line. I went to look at the stat sheet and did not realize how good of a game it was.

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“We were in that spot against Florida State and we got a chance, we had some bad turnovers and they hit some tough shots, but as coaches we were like, here we are, how are we going to respond? I thought that they missed a couple easy ones, but we did not buckle this time. We stayed tough and that is what it is about. That was the difference. We made some plays and lasted.”

This is the 11th consecutive season Virginia has won 18 or more games and 12 or more ACC games for the fourth straight year.

Virginia has secured the No. 6 seed for the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Brooklyn, NY.

About the Authors

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

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