CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) Reece Beekman scored 20 points and No. 21 Virginia overcame poor free-throw shooting to beat Wake Forest 49-47 on Saturday.

The Cavaliers (20-6, 11-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) also got 12 points from Isaac McKneely. He scored their only made free throw on their 11th and final attempt. Ryan Dunn added six points, nine rebounds and seven of Virginia's 13 blocks.

Hunter Sallis led the Demon Deacons (16-9, 8-6) with 12 points and Efton Reid III scored 10. Wake Forest was denied a season sweep of the Cavaliers.

Sallis came in averaging 18.7 points and scored 21 when the Demon Deacon beat Virginia 66-47 in Winston-Salem on Jan. 13, but Beekman held him in check.

“I thought Reese had a heck of a game and we matched him up,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “We just tried to make him earn because he’s such a prolific scorer, and he did torch us last time we were there.”

The defensive battle featured long scoreless stretches for both teams.

The Cavaliers used a 10-2 run to open their largest lead at 41-34 with 9:14 left, but then went scoreless for nearly four minutes as the Deacons closed to within 41-39.

It was 43-42 when Beekman fed McKneely in the corner for his only 3-pointer of the game, stretching the lead to 46-42, but both teams failed to score for more than 2 1/2 minutes before Cameron Hildreth's powerful layup pulled the Deacons to within 46-44 with 1:07 to play.

Blake Buchanan's putback with 39.6 seconds left doubled the Cavaliers' lead, but he missed an ensuing free throw. Virginia secured the rebound and Dunn was fouled, but he then missed the front end of a one-and-one. Beekman and McKneely later missed from the line, leaving the Cavaliers 0-for-10 before McKneely made the second of a pair with 6.7 seconds left to raucous cheers from the crowd.

“I thought we had great fight, great resiliency,” Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes said. “Tough game. They couldn’t get away from us. Tried. I’ve probably never seen a Tony Bennett team shoot that poorly from the free-throw line in a game.”


Wake Forest: Four of the Demon Deacons' five starters average in double figures. The only one who doesn't, Reid, was the first to reach double figures on a layup with 8:21 remaining. The Deacons shot just 34.5% and made five 3-pointers.

“I think to win here, you gotta make 10,” Forbes said.

Virginia: The Cavaliers shot just 28.1% (16-57) in their loss at Wake Forest on Jan. 13, but appeared to have solved the Demon Deacons' defense when they made their first five shots in the rematch. They missed nine of their next 10 and managed only two points over a period of more than 10 minutes. They finished shooting 40.7%.


Bennett drew his first technical foul in 15 years with 3:13 left in the first half arguing that Wake Forest's Hildreth had traveled but it wasn't called.

“I said, ‘Call the bleeping foul,’" Bennett said, adding that the referee told him the technical was for swearing at him.

“But I shouldn’t have said that. Was classless on my part in just the heat of the moment.”

Bennett's only other technical at Virginia came in his first season.


Virginia's 74-63 loss to Pittsburgh earlier in the week will likely cause their third appearance in the Top 25 to be another one-week stay.


Wake Forest: Hosts Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

Virginia: Visits Virginia Tech on Monday night.


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