Sunday, July 21, 2024

No. 10 Virginia holds off Wake Forest

Armaan Franklin scored 25 points and led a first-half barrage of 3-pointers as No. 10 Virginia handed Wake Forest its first home loss this season, 76-67, on Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Kihei Clark scored 12 points, including 4 of 4 on free throws in the final 41 seconds, and Isaac McKneely added 11 as Virginia (15-3, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its fifth straight and delivered coach Tony Bennett his 400th career win.

The Cavaliers ended another streak — the 15-game run of the Demon Deacons, which began in February of last year and was tied for the nation’s fifth-longest home winning streak entering Saturday.

Damari Monsanto hit seven 3-pointers on his way to scoring 25 points and Cameron Hildreth added 16 points for Wake Forest (14-6, 6-3).

The Demon Deacons rallied from a 19-point first-half deficit, pulling to within a point, but couldn’t close the deal.

Virginia didn’t commit a turnover in the first half. But with guards Reece Beekman and Clark in foul trouble after intermission, Wake Forest staged its comeback.

A 3-pointer by Monsanto followed by two free throws by Tyree Appleby (13 points, five assists) made it a 57-56 game with 8:33 left. But the Demon Deacons got no closer as they went cold, missing seven of their next eight shots.

Virginia regained control as Franklin and explosive reserve Ryan Dunn (five points, eight rebounds) had slam dunks and in the final 2:40 Beekman and Franklin made 3-pointers to keep the Cavaliers in charge.

Virginia missed its first eight shots of the game but stayed close thanks to its vaunted pack-line defense.

Then the Cavaliers broke out of their shooting slump in a big way, making nine straight attempts, including seven from beyond the arc.

Clark made the first two treys on consecutive possessions.

Then Franklin drained a pair to trigger a 22-1 run.

During the spree, Franklin added two more 3-pointers, a dunk and a layup, while Beekman contributed a 3-pointer after assisting on three straight baskets.

The run gave the Cavaliers a 34-15 advantage. But Monsanto retaliated in a 1:47 span as he made a trio of 3-pointers and another jumper as Wake Forest whittled the deficit to 42-32 at the break.

–Field Level Media

FLM Direct-Baller
FLM Direct-Baller
Field Level Media was founded by sports media executives with more than 40 years of combined experience working with the most influential media companies in the industry.
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