Virginia scorches the nets, holds on for 76-67 win at Wake to end Deacons’ 15-game home streak

By Scott Ratcliffe

Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia coach Tony Bennett won his 400th career game Saturday, as his 10th-ranked Cavaliers held on for a 76-67 win at Wake Forest, snapping the Demon Deacons’ ACC-long, 15-game home winning streak.

Senior guard Armaan Franklin produced his first career double-double, posting game highs of 25 points and a career-high 10 rebounds to lead the way, as the Wahoos (15-3, 7-2 ACC) won their fifth-consecutive game and seventh of their last eight.

UVA got off to a slow start, making just 2 of its first 14 field-goal attempts, but caught fire from long range and rattled off 17 unanswered points to take control in the first half, turning a 14-12 deficit into a 29-14 lead. The Hoos led by as many as 19 in the half, and took a 42-32 advantage into the halftime break.

The Deacons (14-6, 6-3) got a career-high 25 points from Damari Monsanto, including 7 3-pointers that helped Wake trim the once-comfortable Cavalier lead to a single point, 57-56, with 8:33 to play.

The Deacs had a few chances to take the lead, but Tyree Appleby missed a layup, and then was blocked by UVA freshman Ryan Dunn the next trip down, and Wake never got any closer.

Dunn, along with Virginia star guards Kihei Clark and Reece Beekman, all played the final 3 minutes and 20 seconds with four personal fouls, but each managed to avoid fouling out of the contest.

Beekman picked up his fourth at the 12:12 mark, while Clark was whistled for his fourth with 10:45 to play, as both sat and watched from the bench as Wake went on a 9-3 run to cut it to one.

Beekman and Clark both returned after the under-8 media timeout, and the Cavaliers scored the next six points of the game to push the lead back to seven, 63-56, as the clock went under five minutes.

“The decision was, is it going to be one or both?” Bennett said of the discussion regarding when to get their floor generals back in the game, adding that one of his assistants suggested to throw them both back in. “I’m like, kind of ride or die, let’s go.”

Clark was fouled by Appleby behind the 3-point line just before the final media break with 3:43 to go, and he sank two of his three free-throw attempts to get the lead back to seven. Beekman then knocked down a crucial 3-pointer, his second of the game, to make it 68-60 with 2:38 remaining.

Franklin made it a 10-point affair, as his fifth triple of the day bounced on the rim and fell through with 1:17 to play, making it a 71-61 ball game.

Monsanto responded with his sixth and seventh 3-pointers, the second off of a quick Wake steal, and in no time, the Deacons got it back down to 71-67 with still 52.5 seconds left. But Clark (4 for 4) and Franklin (1 for 2) sealed the win from the charity stripe.

“It was a play-making, shot-making game, and we made enough and came up with just enough stops,” Bennett said.

Virginia shot 40 percent (24 for 60) from the floor, 44 percent from downtown (15 for 34) and 76 percent at the foul line (13 of 17), all while assisting on 19 buckets, outrebounding the Deacs, 38-32, and only turning the ball over 7 times (all after halftime). The Hoos scored 9 points off of 9 Wake giveaways and outscored the Deacons 18-2 off the bench.

Franklin scored in double figures for the eighth-straight game, while Clark added 12 points and 4 assists in 28 minutes. Isaac McKneely, who ran a little bit at the point while Clark and Beekman sat, added 11 points and 3 triples off the bench.

Beekman finished with 8 points and 6 assists in 25 minutes, while Ben Vander Plas added 8 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists, with each knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.

For Wake, Monsanto was 9 for 19, including 7 of 15 from long distance, while Cameron Hildreth added 16 points and 7 rebounds, Appleby finished with 13 points (4 for 16, 1 for 8 from deep) and 5 assists, and Andrew Carr chipped in with 7 points and 10 rebounds in the losing effort.

The Cavaliers connected on 9 long balls in the opening half, making 9-straight field goals during the 17-0 Cavalanche that sparked the momentum. Franklin buried three triples during that stretch, while Beekman and McKneely each sank one as well, as Wake went over seven minutes without a field goal.

Franklin made his fourth 3-ball with 5:40 showing, giving him more points at that point (18) than the entire Wake roster, as UVA built its largest lead of the game, 34-15.

“I missed my first couple shots, but I tried not to get discouraged and just kept shooting,” Franklin admitted. “Came back in the game and got some easier looks, and once you see a couple of them go down, you just feel like you’re in a rhythm. Credit to my teammates for finding me when I was open and trusting me to knock down a shot.”

The Deacons were able to close the half on a 12-5 run to get within 10 going into the locker room. Virginia was 9 for 20 from long range in the half (45 percent).

Team Notes

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

  • Head coach Tony Bennett recorded his 400th career win
  • Virginia is 154-11 when scoring at least 70 or more points under Tony Bennett
  • UVA is 10-0 when scoring 70 or more points in 2022-23
  • UVA is 6-2 away from home and 4-2 in true road games
  • UVA drilled 10 or more 3-pointers for the sixth time (6-0)
  • UVA’s 15 3-pointers and 34 3-point attempts marked season highs
  • Wake went on a 7-0 run to cut the UVA margin to 45-39
  • UVA started 0 of 8 from the field before a Ben Vander Plas layup at 16:16
  • UVA started 0 of 6 from 3-point range, but buried seven straight in the first half
  • UVA’s 17-0 run staked the Hoos to a 29-14 lead
  • UVA’s 22-1 run ignited a 34-15 lead
  • UVA went 9 of 20 from 3-point range and led 42-32 at the half

Series Notes

  • Virginia is 70-71 all-time vs. Wake Forest, including a 17-41 mark in Winston-Salem, in the series that dates to 1910-11.
  • UVA has won 11 of the last 12 meetings in the series, including a five-game win streak in Winston-Salem
  • The Cavaliers have scored 65 or more points in eight of their last 11 games (7-1) vs. the Demon Deacons
  • Tony Bennett is 11-5 vs. Wake Forest as head coach at Virginia

Player Notes

  • Double Figure Scorers: Armaan Franklin (25), Kihei Clark (12), Isaac McKneely (11)
  • Franklin added a career-high 10 rebounds for his first career double-double
  • Franklin recorded his eighth 20-point game at UVA (5th in 2022-23 and 11th career)
  • Franklin has an eight-game double-figure streak and 47 career games with 10-plus points
  • Franklin scored 18 of his 25 points in the first half
  • Franklin attempted a career-high 13 3-pointers
  • Franklin matched a career-high with five 3-pointers
  • McKneely reached double figures for the fourth time
  • Ryan Dunn had career highs in rebounds (8) and minutes (30)
  • Clark reached double figures for the 62nd time
  • Clark (4,840 minutes) passed Duke’s Chris Duhon (4,813 from 2001-04) for second on the ACC’s career minutes played list
  • Clark (1,290 points) passed Cory Alexander (1,286 from 1992-95) for 28th on UVA’s all-time scoring list.
  • Beekman had a game-high six assists
  • UVA started Clark, Beekman, Franklin, Gardner and Vander Plas for the third straight game

The Cavaliers will have a week off to prepare for Saturday’s game against Boston College at John Paul Jones Arena (Noon, RSN/ACCNX).