Virginia holds off Louisville 51-50 in ACC tournament


Virginia’s Jayden Gardner (1) takes on Louisville’s Samuell Williamson (10) in the first period of an NCAA college basketball game at the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tournament, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, At New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)


Jayden Gardner had 17 points and Kihei Clark scored 15 to help Virginia hold Louisville 51-50 in the second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Wednesday night.

Gardner’s layup gave Virginia (19-12) a 45-42 lead with 2:57 to go, but Noah Locke responded with a 3-pointer 63 seconds later to tie the score.

Gardner hit a jumper at 1:28 and Reece Beekman made a layup after a missed 3-pointer by Jarrod West to put the Cavaliers up 49-45 with 40 seconds left. West missed another 3, but the Cardinals (13-19) grabbed three offensive rebounds before Malik Williams scored to make it 49-47 with 5 seconds left.

Louisville fouled Gardner, who made two free throws for a four-point lead. That came in handy when Louisville’s El Ellis buried a 3-pointer on the game’s last shot.

Beekman had nine assists to go with eight points for the sixth-seeded Cavaliers.

Williams outshot the 11th-seeded Cardinals, who led 24-20 at halftime, with 11 points and 13 rebounds

Virginia beat Louisville twice during the regular season. The Cavaliers have won 14 of the last 15 meetings with Louisville and lead the all-time series 20-5.

Virginia, which finished outside the ACC’s top four spots for only the second time in 10 seasons, advances to face No. 3 seeded North Carolina in the quarterfinals on Thursday.


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