Gardner, Franklin push No. 13 Virginia past Clemson, 64-57
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Jayden Gardner had 12 points and nine rebounds, Armaan Franklin and Isaac McKneely each scored 12, and No. 13 Virginia outlasted Clemson 64-57 on Tuesday night to stop a two-game skid.
The Cavaliers (22-6, 14-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) moved into a tie for second place in the league with No. 16 Miami with one game remaining.
PJ Hall led the Tigers (21-9, 13-6) with 19 points and Hunter Tyson had 17. Clemson got within 59-55 with 33 seconds left, but Virginia made five free throws and had a steal, sending the Tigers to their fifth loss in eight games.
The Cavaliers used a 13-2 run early in the second half to open their biggest lead at 41-27. Clemson chipped away, getting within seven at 57-50 with 3:21 left on a 3-pointer by Tyson.
Ryan Dunn hit both ends of a one-and-one for Virginia with 1:56 left, but Tyson followed with two free throws and Hunter’s 3 made it interesting in the final minute.
A steal by Reece Beekman on the Tigers’ next possession and Clark’s two free throws with 15.5 seconds left sealed it, allowing the Cavaliers to avoid their first three-game skid since late in the 2021 season.
Virginia missed its first eight shots, then hit six of seven in a 17-2 run to lead 17-7. The Tigers pulled within 28-23 at the half.
Virginia and Miami are a half-game behind No. 25 Pittsburgh in the ACC. The Panthers play at Notre Dame on Wednesday night and close the regular season at Miami on Saturday.
Clemson fell into a tie for fourth in the ACC with Duke.
While Virginia has been shaky in the second half of its ACC schedule, it remained undefeated in league play at home. The Cavaliers’ only home loss this season was to then-No. 5 Houston on Dec. 17.
Clemson: The Tigers needed more scoring from players other than Hall and Tyson. Chase Hunter had seven points, but no one else had more than four.
Virginia: The Cavaliers’ free-throw shooting has been abysmal of late. After converting at a 72% clip in their first 22 games, they have hit only 58.3% (55 of 96) in the last six. Virginia was 15 of 22 (68.2%) from the line on Tuesday. ... Dunn finished with 10 points, his most since he had 13 in an early-season blowout of Monmouth.
Clemson: Finishes at home against Notre Dame on Saturday.
Virginia: Closes at home against Louisville on Saturday.