Jayden Gardner scored 17 points and Kihei Clark recorded 12 points and 10 assists as No. 6 Virginia held off host Syracuse 67-62 on Monday.
The Cavaliers (17-3, 9-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won seven games in a row — a streak bookended by wins over the Orange (13-10, 6-6), who have dropped three consecutive contests.
Armaan Franklin contributed 12 points for Virginia, while Gardner added eight rebounds and two steals. Ben Vander Plas chipped in seven points, seven boards and six assists for the visitors.
Judah Mintz paced Syracuse with 20 points, while Jesse Edwards pitched in 14 points and seven rebounds. Joseph Girard III scored only seven points and missed nine of his 12 field-goal attempts.
Gardner delivered one of the key buckets of the game when he knocked down a turnaround jumper in the lane with 33.7 seconds left to put Virginia up 66-62. Mintz missed a 3-point attempt on the other end — and another in the waning seconds — to seal the Orange’s fate.
Both teams shot over 60 percent from the field in the first half, and Virginia led 36-35 at intermission.
The Cavaliers made 6 of 10 first-half 3-point attempts, including two early treys as they jumped out to a 10-2 lead. The Orange rallied for a 26-23 edge thanks to a 9-0 run in which Mintz and Justin Taylor accounted for all their scoring, but 3-pointers by Clark and Isaac McKneely put Virginia back in front.
The Cavaliers expanded their lead to seven points early in the second half before the Orange eventually surged in front with a 12-0 run. The Syracuse push began with a three-point play by Mintz and ended with one by Edwards for a 51-46 edge with 12:04 to go.
With just under six minutes left, Virginia jumped back into the lead on Franklin’s 3-pointer from the wing. The Cavaliers led by one shortly thereafter before an offensive rebound worked its way around to Clark, who drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Virginia finished 9 of 21 from 3-point range, while Syracuse made only 3 of 15 attempts from beyond the arc.
–Field Level Media