Daily Press (Sunday)

Cavaliers survive a nail-biter


CLEMSON, S.C. — Reserve Jacob Groves scored 17 points, Reece Beekman and Isaac McKneely scored 14 points each and Virginia survived a wild finish to defeat Clemson 66-65 on Saturday.

A 3-pointer by PJ Hall gave the Tigers their first lead since the 16-minute mark of the first half at 57-56 with 5 minutes remaining. McKneely and Groves answered with jumpers and McKneely added a four-point play to put Virginia up 64-59 near the 2-minute mark. Virginia (17-5, 8-3 ACC) didn’t score again until Ryan Dunn’s layup gave the Cavaliers a 66-62 lead with 37 seconds left.

With 7 seconds left, Hall was fouled on a 3-pointer, and his three free throws got Clemson within 66-65. The Tigers fouled Dante Harris, still with 7 seconds left, and he missed the front end of a one-and-one. Clemson’s Jack Clark rebounded, passed to Chase Hunter and got the ball back for a good look at a 3-pointer, but it bounced off the back of the rim and time expired.

Hall scored 19 points, including 10 of 12 from the free-throw line. Joe Girard added 14 points, Ian Schieffeli­n 13 and Chase Hunter 12 for Clemson (14-7, 4-6).

After falling behind by 12 to open the second half, the Tigers rallied, and a 7-0 run got them within 42-40 with less than 14 minutes remaining. But Virginia held the lead until a 3 by Girard capped another 7-0 Clemson run, tying the score at 54 with just less than 7 minutes left.

Groves, a 7.3 points-per-game scorer, has scored 17 points and 18 points in the past two games. He hit three 3-pointers and scored 13 points in the first half against Clemson. Virginia led for all but 90 seconds and was up 34-26 at halftime.

Virginia will host Miami on Monday. Clemson will visit North Carolina on Tuesday.

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