UVA basketball wins season opener 80-50 over Tarleton State

UVa basketball wins season opener
UVa basketball wins season opener(WVIR)
Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 12:13 AM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The UVa basketball team got a team-high 16 points from senior guard Reece Beekman and 15 points from sophomore Isaac McKneely in beating Tarleton State Monday night at JPJ in the season opener.

“I thought we played real hard.” said UVa coach Tony Bennett. “Talked about what genuine passion would look like, and I thought our guys battled. Tarleton is real scrappy, they’re athletic and they’re physical. The way they play, you’ve got to be sure with the ball. You’ve got to handle it, you’ve got to work to get open. They run a lot of movement, five-out stuff, so they put some pressure with some mismatches on us. I liked the heart and the effort, for sure out of the blocks. That first half, I thought at times, the second half it appeared we got a little stretched, and they started touching our paint off the dribble. I just thought the effort was good and everybody got an opportunity to play and just get out there. You know, played all 10 guys.”

It was the first time the two teams had ever met. Virginia led by 24 at halftime and was never threatened.

Leon Bond III scored 12 points and had nine rebounds in his Virginia debut after redshirting last season.

Here are some postgame notes from a UVA media release:

Team Notes

• UVA began its 119th season of men’s basketball with the nonconference win

• UVA is 24-2 in its last 26 season-opening games

• UVA is 13-2 in season openers under head coach Tony Bennett

• The Cavaliers are 96-23 all-time in season-opening games

• UVA is 92-10 in nonconference action at JPJ under Bennett

• UVA is 158-11 all-time when scoring 70 or more points under Bennett

• Virginia is 47-1 all-time under Bennett when scoring 80 or more points

• UVA forced one shot clock violation

• Tarleton had a scoring drought of 6:25 of the first half

• UVA shot 58.3 percent in the first half, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range

• The Cavaliers led 43-19 at the half

• UVA finished 10 of 22 from 3-point range (45.5 percent)

• UVA out-rebounded Tarleton State 40-27

Series Notes

• This was the first meeting between the teams

Player Notes

• Double Figure Scorers: Reece Beekman (16), Isaac McKneely (15), Leon Bond III (12)

• Beekman reached double figures for the 31st time

• Beekman matched a career high with six made free throws (6 of 7)

• Beekman added seven assists and three steals

• Beekman was named to the Naismith Trophy Preseason 50 Watch List earlier today

• Bond III had 12 points and nine rebounds in his UVA debut

• McKneely matched career highs with 15 points and four 3-pointers

• McKneely reached double figures for the ninth time

• Dante Harris, Andrew Rohde, Blake Buchanan, Jake Groves and Jordan Minor also made their UVA debuts.

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