No. 7 Virginia slips past Notre Dame with Clark's late FTs
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Kihei Clark scored 15 points, including a pair of critical free throws with 22.6 seconds left, and became Virginia's career assist leader in the No. 7 Cavaliers' narrow 57-55 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday.
With Notre Dame closing to 55-54, Clark converted both ends of a one-and-one. Trey Wertz made the front end of a one-and-one with 3.9 seconds left for the Fighting Irish, but missed the second after a timeout. The ball was tipped out to Dane Goodwin for a potential game-winning 3-pointer, but his shot bounced off the rim.
Armaan Franklin added 12 points and Reece Beekman had 11 for Virginia (21-4, 13-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who assured themselves at least a share of first place in the conference pending a game between Virginia Tech and co-leader Pittsburgh later Saturday.
Nate Laszewski led Notre Dame (10-17, 2-14) with 18 points and Goodwin had 12, including a pair of 3-pointers. The loss left the Fighting Irish 0-10 away from home this season.
Notre Dame scored the first six points after halftime to take a 31-29 lead. Jayden Gardner later hit a short jumper and Reece Beekman followed with a 3-pointer, sparking a 13-5 run to put the Cavaliers ahead 53-45. The Irish closed to within three twice in the closing minutes.
The Cavaliers used a 10-2 run over a span of 8 1/2 minutes to open a 27-18 lead, but the Irish outscored them 7-2 to finish the half trailing 29-25.
Note Dame: The Irish arrived averaging just 8.8 turnovers but had six by halftime and came precariously close to numerous shot clock violations, which resulted in desperation shots. The Cavaliers did force a shot clock violation after halftime, their 17th at home this season.
Virginia: Clark's third of four assists was his 684th, moving him past John Crotty (1988-91), who attended the game. He is the program's career leader in wins, ACC wins, minutes and games — and also now the leader in starts with his 133rd, passing London Perrantes (2014-17).
Notre Dame: At home against North Carolina on Wednesday night.
Virginia: At Boston College on Wednesday night.
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