Sun, 23 Jan 2022

Virginia beats Lehigh for Tony Bennett's 300th career win

Field Level Media
27 Nov 2021, 12:19 GMT+10

Kihei Clark scored 11 points and dealt seven assists to lead a balanced attack as Virginia overcame a sluggish first half to beat Lehigh 61-43 and deliver coach Tony Bennett his 300th win Friday night in Charlottesville.

Coming off a pair of wins in winning the Legends Classic earlier in the week, Virginia (5-2) had trouble getting in gear. But at the start of the second half, the Cavaliers pulled an inside job as their first 10 field goals came from the paint.

Reece Beekman scored 10 points and made four steals while Jayden Gardner had eight points and eight rebounds. Kadin Shedrick added eight points, five rebounds and three blocks.

Bennett now has a 300-105 record in 13 seasons at Virginia.

The vaunted pack-line defense of Virginia forced 15 turnovers, scoring 19 points off those miscues. Lehigh shot 35.3 percent from the floor and made just 3 of 16 from beyond the arc.

Lehigh (1-5) was bidding for a second upset of Virginia by a Patriot League team this year. Earlier this month, Navy went to Charlottesville and shocked the Cavaliers in their season opener.

The Mountain Hawks got eight points each from Jeameril Wilson and Evan Taylor.

After making just 33.3 percent of their shots in the first half, Virginia remedied their shooting woes by taking the ball to the hoop. In the first 10 minutes of the second half, Shedrick and Clark scored three times each on shots from the lane.

Beekman heated up and made three more inside shots, including a breakaway dunk off his own steal. During a 16-2 run, Virginia increased an eight-point lead to 22 midway through the half.

In a stagnant first half, Francisco Caffaro (eight points, five rebounds) came off the bench to spark the Cavaliers, grinding inside for six quick points and helping to fuel a 10-2 run.

But just as Virginia looked ready to take command, Dominic Parolin hit a jumper and Taylor added four points as Lehigh kept it close, trailing 25-21 at the break.

--Field Level Media

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