No. 25 UVA men’s basketball falls 66-58 against Navy in season opener
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - What many thought would be a sweet homecoming for the UVA faithful in the return to John Paul Jones Arena turned sour against Navy on Tuesday night.
The Midshipmen came to Charlottesville and knocked off the No. 25 ranked Cavaliers 66-58, giving Navy its first win against a ranked opponent since 1986.
“It’s always a battle who’s gonna outlast who and I think they were astounded outlasted us,” UVA Head Coach Tony Bennett said.
Jayden Gardner was one of the bright spots for the Hoos. He led the Cavs with 18 points and 10 rebounds giving him a double-double in his first game in a UVA uniform.
The Hoos got out to an early 12-11 lead with 15:01 remaining in the first half but that would be the last time UVA was in control.
At the half, the Cavaliers were down 42-35.
In the second half the Hoos came surging back and were able to tie the game at 55 on a Kadin Shedrick tip-in with 8:45 remaining. UVA would only score three more points over the remainder of the game.
In the second half UVA shot 28% from the field.
Navy was able to build its lead back up to six. With 24 seconds remaining John Carter Jr. hit a three pointer to extend the Midshipmen lead to nine and seal the game.
“We’ve got to become a little tougher physically and a little more gritty mentally to last longer in these games and that’s, that’s part of the growing process,” Bennett said.
“I think it was a good test for the team,” Senior Guard Kihei Clark said. “Obviously it’s not the way we wanted to start, but it’s a long season so just tell our guys try to be confident and just try to keep working.”
UVA will play again on Friday at home against Radford.
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