Kihei Clark scored 15 points and Jayden Gardner added 14, leading a balanced attack as Virginia rolled to a wire-to-wire 64-52 Atlantic Coast Conference win over Louisville Monday night in Charlottesville, Va.
Efficient Virginia (12-8, 6-4 ACC) had 20 assists on 24 baskets as Reece Beekman notched a career-high 11 helpers to go along with his seven rebounds. The Cavaliers, who led by 19 points in the first half, held off a second-half Cardinals rally.
Virginia also got strong work from its center tandem of Kadin Shedrick, who totaled 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks, while Francisco Caffaro turned in nine points and seven rebounds as Virginia won the battle of the boards 37-26.
The Cavaliers continued their remarkable ability to bounce back after a loss. They have followed all eight of their defeats with a victory.
In losing for the fifth time in its last six games, Louisville (11-9, 5-5) got off to an anemic start and never fully recovered. The Cardinals made just 37.5 percent (21-for-56) of their shots from the floor and 9 of 28 from beyond the arc.
Jarrod West led the Lousiville rally, which trimmed the deficit to four points midway through the second half. But the Cardinals got no closer.
Flying through the lane, Shedrick made a sensational slam dunk off a feed from Beekman and Gardner followed with a deft touch pass to Shedrick for another dunk that gave Virginia a 56-47 lead with 3:32 left.
With 1:29 to go, Armaan Franklin sealed it with a traditional 3-point play.
Against a reconfigured starting lineup that Louisville coach Chris Mack has tweaked recently to try to find some cohesion, Virginia dominated the opening minutes, bolting to a 22-5 lead.
During the run, as Louisville missed 7 of 8 attempts from beyond the arc, the Cavaliers outrebounded the Cardinals 10-4, made 8 of 12 shots from the floor, had seven assists and didn't commit a turnover.
Clark led the sprint with a 3-pointer, a jumper and a driving layup. Including his assists, Clark had a hand in six of the eight Virginia baskets in the run.
-Field Level Media