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Gardner, Shedrick double-double in Virginia’s 68-52 win over Coppin State

By Scott Ratcliffe

uva basketballVirginia got back to its defensive mentality and back in the win column Friday night at John Paul Jones Arena, as the Cavaliers took care of Coppin State, 68-52.

The Wahoos (2-2) put Tuesday’s 20-point loss to 15th-ranked Houston in the rear-view with an impressive showing on both ends of the floor against the Eagles (1-6).

Jayden Gardner and Kadin Shedrick each posted a double-double — Gardner with a team-high 14 points and game-high 12 rebounds, Shedrick with 10 points and 10 boards to go along with a game-best 3 blocks — to lead the way.

UVA recorded three steals in the first two minutes and change of the contest, as CSU coach (and former University of Maryland guard) Juan Dixon had to pause the early Cavalier onslaught, down 8-0 with 17:28 on the clock. Gardner scored on a floater on the opening possession to spark his offensive production.

Reece Beekman highlighted the early spurt with a nice drive right through the heart of the defense before finding Armaan Franklin soon after for a perfect assist and dunk to get the JPJ crowd energized.

The Eagles’ first basket didn’t drop until the 15:48 mark, as they misfired on their first four attempts, but the Hoos extended the lead to 16-2 on a Kihei Clark corner triple before Coppin’s next bucket fell with just over 10 minutes left in the opening half.

First-year 6-foot-10 forward Igor Miličić Jr. sank his first points as a Cavalier — a 3-pointer — out of the ensuing media timeout before scoring again on a jumper the next trip down to stretch the lead to 21-6.

Coppin State’s Jesse Zarzuela drilled a 3-pointer to trim the Virginia lead to 10 with 3:38 to go in the first half, but that’s about as close as the Eagles would get. Miličić blocked a shot in the closing seconds and kicked it ahead to a streaking Franklin for an old-fashioned, 3-point play to beat the buzzer, and Virginia led 35-20 at halftime.

UVA held CSU to 26-percent shooting (7 for 27) over the opening 20 minutes, including just 18 percent (3 for 17) from deep.

Shedrick converted an and-one jam of his own early in the second half to extend the lead to 20, 42-22, but the Eagles wouldn’t go away quietly, cutting it back down to 10, 46-36, with just over 12 minutes remaining.

From there, Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers were able to close strong, aside from a few minor hiccups, scoring 13 of the game’s next 15 points and ending the game with the starters cheering on comfortably from the sideline.

For the night, the Eagles shot 31 percent from the field (16 for 52) and 26 percent (9 of 34) from 3-point land. Each team turned the ball over 11 times. Daniel Titus, who sank a game-high four 3-pointers,  led the Eagles with 17 points, while senior forward Sita Conteh — who knocked down three triples of his own — added 10 off the bench.

The Hoos, who outrebounded Coppin, 42-33, didn’t have an outstanding shooting night, but looked much better than they did Tuesday, finishing Friday’s game at 42 percent (23 for 55) and 28 percent (5 for 18) from beyond the arc. UVA was 17 of 24 (71 percent) from the free-throw line and dominated in the paint, 28-12, converting 17 points off of CSU turnovers and getting 21 points from non-starters.

Two other Hoos finished in double-figures scoring, as Clark had 12 points, while Miličić finished with 11 (2 of 4 from 3-point range) in just 13 minutes off the bench, an encouraging sign moving forward for a team looking for more offensive firepower.

Senior guard Kody Stattmann followed up his 8-point performance at Houston with another solid outing Friday, finishing again with 8 points on 3-of-5 shooting (2 of 4 from long range).

Beekman didn’t have his best night offensively, posting 4 points (2 of 8 FG), but contributed in other ways with 6 rebounds, 6 assists, a pair of steals and a block. Franklin added 7 points (0 for 4 from deep), 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 28 minutes.

Sophomore guard Malachi Poindexter, a graduate of nearby St. Anne-s-Belfield School playing in his fifth collegiate contest, scored his first career points on a jumper with 3:10 left in the second half, in a career-high 14 minutes.

Box Score


The Cavaliers head north to Newark, N.J., for the Roman Legends Classic, which begins Monday against Georgia (2-2) at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. The Hoos, based on the outcomes of Monday’s games, will take on either Providence or Northwestern — each of which entered the weekend with a perfect 4-0 record — on Tuesday.

Team Notes

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

  • UVA is 148-43 (.775) in nonconference action under Bennett, including an 84-8 record at John Paul Jones Arena
  • UVA is 21-0 all-time vs. current Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponents
  • Virginia is 3-0 all-time against Coppin State in the series that dates back to the 1993-94 season
  • UVA started the game on an 8-0 run
  • Coppin State’s first basket came at 15:45 of the first half
  • UVA led 35-20 at the half, limiting the Eagles to 7 of 27 field goals and 3 of 17 3-pointers
  • UVA outrebounded Coppin State 42-33
  • UVA had a season-high 21 bench points

Player Notes

  • Double Figure Scorers: Jayden Gardner (14), Kihei Clark (12), Igor Miličić Jr. (11), Kadin Shedrick (10)
  • Gardner (14 points, 12 rebounds) had his second double-double of the season (32nd career)
  • Shedrick (10 points, 10 rebounds) registered his first career double-double
  • Shedrick (3 blocks) had his third straight game with three or more blocks
  • Malachi Poindexter (2 points) played a career-high 14 minutes


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