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Mar 20, 2024 12:06 am

Colorado State struts past poor-shooting Virginia

Colorado State Virginia

DAYTON, Ohio – Joel Scott scored 23 points and Nique Clifford added 17 as the sharp-shooting Colorado State Rams routed the misfiring Virginia Cavaliers 67-42 on Tuesday night in a First Four matchup of No. 10 seeds in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament.

Colorado State (25-10), which improved to 5-12 in NCAA Tournament games, advances to play No. 7 seed Texas on Thursday in Charlotte, N.C.

The Rams were an impressive 26 of 47 to finish 55 percent from the field. By contrast, Virginia suffered one of the worst nights in its storied NCAA Tournament history, shooting just 25 percent and missing 19 straight shots at one point.

The 42 points are the second fewest for Virginia in an NCAA Tournament game. The previous low came in 2017, when the Cavs lost 65-39 to Florida in a second-round game.

On Tuesday, Reece Beekman led Virginia (23-11) with 15 points on 4-for-16 shooting and was the only Cavalier in double figures. Jordan Minor had seven points and Isaac McKneely finished with six as Virginia suffered a one-and-done in the tournament for the second straight year and for its third straight appearance since winning the NCAA title in 2019.

McKneely drained a 3 with 10:30 left in the first half to bring Virginia within two, 14-12. It was Virginia’s last basket of the first half.

Virginia’s last points of the half came 70 seconds later when Beekman converted a pair of free throws to cut Colorado State’s lead to 18-14.

The Rams finished the half on a 9-0 run to take a 27-14 halftime lead.

Virginia made just 5 of 29 shots in the first 20 minutes, missing its final 15. Things didn’t improve over the first three minutes of the second half as the Cavaliers were off the mark on their first four attempts, helping the Rams build their lead to 35-14.

Scott had 10 of his 23 points in the first half for the Rams, who dominated the Cavaliers 18-4 in the paint en route to their 13-point first-half advantage.

Virginia’s drought finally ended when Beekman’s floater in the lane hit the rim and fell in with 16:37 left.

Jacob Groves drilled a corner 3 to bring Virginia within 44-29 with 10:02 left, but the Cavaliers could get no closer.

–By Mike Petraglia, Field Level Media

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