No. 13 Virginia starts slow, but cruises to 66-46 win over Albany

No. 13 Virginia starts slow, but cruises to 66-46 win over Albany

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – No. 13 Virginia basketball got 20 points from Jayden Gardner and 16 from Armaan Franklin in beating Albany 66-46 Wednesday night at John Paul Jones Arena.

Virginia trailed by two with about five minutes left in the first half, but it took back-to-back steals and layups from Kehei Clark that gave Virginia the momentum and pushed UVa to victory.

“You just don’t see that (every day),” coach Tony Bennett said after the game. “As soon as a guy picks your pocket, you’re gone, I’m gone, at least that’s what you’re thinking. He wanted to go for a third, but I’m like don’t you dare pick another foul, but it was good, got the crowd fired up and fired up our defense.”

Albany coach Dwayne Killings said of Clark’s two steals, “He makes two plays that really changed the face of the game. That gave them the momentum they needed and they never looked back.”

Virginia finishes its non-conference schedule with an overall record of 9-2. The Hoos play at Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Team notes

• UVA (9-2, 1-1 ACC) improved to 6-1 at home

• UVA finished non-conference play at 8-1

• UVA outscored UAlbany 33-22 in the second half

• UVA started the second half on a 7-0 run to take a 40-24 lead

• UVA led 33-24 at halftime

• UAlbany went on an 8-0 run to take an early 19-15 lead

• UVA forced two shot clock violations

• UVA won the rebounding battle 38-30

• UVA is 109-2, including a 3-0 mark in 2022-23, when limiting opponents to fewer than 50 points during the Tony Bennett era

• Bennett-coached teams are 134-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 50 points (25-1 in three years at Washington State)

Bennett Wins Watch

• Tony Bennett (325-119, 14 seasons) needs two wins to pass Terry Holland (326-173, 16 seasons) as UVA’s all-time winningest coach

• Bennett (394-152) needs six wins to reach 400 career wins

Series Notes

• Virginia is 2-0 all-time against UAlbany (1-0 at JPJ)

Player notes

• Double-digit scorers: Armaan Franklin (20), Jayden Gardner (16)

• Franklin recorded his sixth 20-point game at UVA (3rd in 2022-23 and 9th of career)

• Kihei Clark (10 assists) passed Jeff Jones (598 assists from 1979-82) for second on UVA’s all-time 600 assist list.

• Clark (4,605 ​​minutes) passed Georgia Tech’s Mark Price (4,604 from 1983-86) for 10th on the ACC career minutes played list

• Clark played in his school-record 139th game

• Franklin reached double figures for the 40th time

• Gardner reached double figures for the 109th time

• Gardner and Franklin combined for 20 of UVA’s 33 points in the first half

• Franklin had a career-high two blocked shots

• Ben Vander Plas and Isaac McKneely made their first career starts at UVA

• Reece Beekman missed his first career game due to injury

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