No. 8 Virginia edges Duke in overtime to stay tied atop the ACC


CHARLOTTESVILLE — With the game in the balance late in overtime and the eighth-ranked Virginia men protecting a precarious lead against visiting Duke, Cavaliers guard Armaan Franklin squared up behind the three-point line and released a shot from the corner.

The ball swished through the net for a pivotal basket on the way to the Cavaliers’ 69-62 triumph Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena that only reached overtime after a disputed call at the end of regulation. Regardless, the win was Virginia’s ninth in 10 games and kept the Cavaliers (19-4, 11-3) tied with Pittsburgh atop the ACC.

“I had an open corner look, and I shoot a million of those a day,” said Franklin, who played through a nose fracture suffered this past week during practice. “Good to see that one go in.”

Franklin finished with a game-high 23 points and made 9 of 13 shots, none more impactful than that three with 40 seconds to play for a 66-62 lead. Fifth-year guard Kihei Clark added 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting with five assists and just one turnover in 37 minutes.

Regulation ended with both teams anxiously awaiting a replay review after Virginia guard Reece Beekman blocked Kyle Filipowski’s dunk attempt with less than a second to play and the score tied at 58. Officials originally called a foul on Virginia’s Ryan Dunn almost simultaneously with Beekman’s block, leading to the review.

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Cavaliers fans erupted when the foul was waved off because the officials determined it came after the buzzer, much to the dismay of Blue Devils Coach Jon Scheyer, who vigorously protested.

His argument apparently was sound. In a news release late Saturday night, the ACC said the officials made a mistake and Filipowski should have been granted two free throws.

“Rule 5, Section 7, Article 3c [of the NCAA rule book] states ‘when a foul occurs so near the expiration of time that the official timer cannot stop the game clock before time expires or when the foul occurs after time expires but while the ball is in flight during a try, the period shall end when the free throw(s) and all related activity have been completed,’ ” the ACC wrote. “… The ACC had addressed this situation with both institutions as well as the officiating crew. The conference considers this matter closed and will have no further comment.”

Virginia prevailed despite going 9 for 22 (40.9 percent) from the free throw line and 4 for 14 (28.6 percent) from behind the arc while getting outrebounded 39-24 and facing a 16-2 deficit in second-chance points. The Cavaliers countered by forcing 22 turnovers and holding a 20-8 margin in points off them. They also drew a fifth foul on Duke guard Jeremy Roach (Paul VI) with 3:15 left in overtime, robbing the Blue Devils of their second-leading scorer and junior floor general.

Roach had a team-high 16 points for the Blue Devils (17-8, 8-6), who lost their second in a row. Tyrese Proctor chipped in 14.

“I think our defense did hold us in there,” Cavaliers Coach Tony Bennett said. “I thought our guys stepped up. Armaan played a terrific game, and he had a broken nose two days ago in practice — or a cracked nose — so I thought he showed some great toughness to respond as he did.”

Virginia had opened a 58-53 lead with 1:43 left on two straight layups by Franklin, but Roach made a driving layup, and Jacob Grandison’s three-pointer completed the scoring in regulation.

Following a stoppage for the penultimate media timeout in the second half, Virginia got Dunn’s two-handed dunk off a bounce pass from Ben Vander Plas, who added a layup of his own moments later while drawing a foul. He missed the free throw, so the Cavaliers led 54-51 with 4:51 to play.

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Breakdowns in closing out on three-point shooters left Virginia trailing 47-42 with 11:34 to play in the second half. The Blue Devils got Dariq Whitehead’s consecutive three-pointers from the same spot on the court — deep in the left corner — leading to Bennett calling a timeout. The break allowed the Cavaliers to gather themselves for a surge featuring six consecutive points from Clark, punctuated with a driving layup around taller defenders that trimmed the deficit to 51-50 with 7:49 remaining.

“You’ve got to find different ways to win,” Bennett said. “I thought Kihei and Reece, they did some things that looked like we made some great play-calls, but it was just them improvising, looking at a couple back doors and understanding the game — and that’s where experience playing together a lot of years and minutes made a difference.”

Here’s what else to know about Virginia’s win:

Clamping down on Filipowski

Suffocating interior defense led to Filipowski, a star freshman big man, failing to score for the first time this season. He missed all six of his field goal attempts and committed five turnovers in 30 minutes with a rotation of Kadin Shedrick, Francisco Caffaro and Vander Plas guarding him.

The 7-foot standout entered the game averaging a team-high 15.5 points.

“Threw a trap at him at times. Just had guys try to wall him up, stay in front,” Bennett said. “Whenever you play against good players, pick your poison, but they have to earn, and I don’t think he got too many clean looks.”

Vander Plas was credited with drawing 11 fouls. He also contributed 13 points and a game-high four steals, although he went just 5 for 11 from the free throw line. His plus/minus rating of +20 was the highest on the team.

“I think a decent amount of those were charges,” he said. “… It was good to take some charges today, definitely.”

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