National Basketball Association
Virginia 71, North Texas 69
When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, March 20, 2022
Where: UNT Coliseum, Denton, Texas
# Randy Richardson, # Darron George, # K.B. Burdett
Armaan Franklin scored 17 points, including 14 straight over a nearly 12-minute stretch, as visiting Virginia outlasted tenacious North Texas 71-69 on Sunday in a gritty National Invitation Tournament second-round game in Denton, Texas.
The Cavaliers (21-13) earned a berth in the tournament quarterfinals and will play the winner of the St. Bonaventure-Oklahoma game.
Virginia led by two points at the half and 55-49 with 5:42 to play, but the Mean Green tied the game on Tylor Perry's four-point play with 2:30 remaining, capping a 12-3 run. Both teams had empty possessions before Perry was short on a 3-pointer at the buzzer at the end of regulation.
Franklin turned it on in the extra period, pouring in 3-pointers on three straight possessions to push the Cavaliers to a 64-58 lead. Two free throws by Perry after a technical foul by Virginia's Francisco Caffaro and another by Thomas Bell Jr. cut the lead to three points at the 2:31 mark.
Jayden Gardner hit a jumper and Reece Beekman had a layup to expand the Virginia lead to seven with 1:39 left. A three-point play by Bell with 4 seconds left brought the Mean Green to within 70-69, and after a free throw, Perry's desperation 3-pointer at the horn bounced away.
Gardner also had 17 points while Beekman added 13, and Kihel Clark scored 11 for Virginia.
Mardrez McBride led all scorers with 21 points, with Abou Ousmane and Perry adding 16 each for North Texas (25-7) and Bell racking up 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Cavaliers broke away from a 21-21 tie at the 2:44 mark via a 5-0 run capped by a layup by Clark with 43 second remaining. North Texas answered with a three-point play by Perry at 14 seconds left and was within 26-24 at the break.
Perry led all scorers in the half with 8 points while Clark paced Virginia with 7.
The Mean Green tied the game at 26 on Ousmane's dunk on the first possession of the second half before Virginia reeled off the ensuing 10 points, spurred by seven points by Beekman. North Texas clawed back to within 52-49 on McBride's 3-pointer with 6:44 left, setting the stage for the furious finish.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Armaan Franklin 17
Mardrez McBride 21
Reece Beekman 9
Thomas Bell 6
Kody Stattmann 10
Thomas Bell 12
Jayden Gardner 3
||Free Throws Made
Abou Ousmane 4
Reece Beekman 3
Abou Ousmane 1
Kody Stattmann 1
Mardrez McBride 2
Team Stats Summary