UVA continues torrid stretch, dominates Miami for 23rd consecutive victory at home

CHARLOTTESVILLE — There’s no more surer thing these days than a Virginia men’s basketball home victory.

UVA shook off early doldrums, hit some key 3-pointers and turned in its usually stout defensive effort in front of a raucous home crowd to dismantle Miami 60-38 on Monday night.

The Cavaliers collected their 23rd consecutive home victory to build on the longest such current streak in the country. UVA has held 48 straight ACC opponents to fewer than 70 points at John Paul Jones Arena.

Virginia (18-5, 9-3) — winner of seven straight conference games — held onto sole possession of second place in the ACC behind North Carolina. Miami fell to 15-8, 6-6.

Reece Beekman led UVA with 16 points, followed by Jake Groves with 12. Miami played most of the game without Kyshawn George, a freshman starting guard, after he left early with an apparent injury three minutes into the game.

“I think it was a real complete performance,” Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett said.

The absence of George “affected them,” Bennett added, “but I just thought our guys, like we’ve done the last few games, we moved hard on offense and tried to play really hard defensively.”

UVA started slowly, missing nine of its first 10 shots from the field while falling behind 7-2 in the opening six minutes.

The Cavaliers, though, made five of the next eight shots, including 3-pointers from Isaac McKneely and Groves on back-to-back possessions to gain a 14-7 lead with 9:33 left before halftime. UVA went on a 12-0 spurt, holding Miami without a point — on 0-for-8 shooting — for more than five minutes.

A Taine Murray 3-pointer from the right corner at 3:31 gave UVA its biggest lead at 25-11.

UVA led 29-17 at halftime after harassing Miami into 28% shooting from the floor and a 2-for-10 effort from 3-point range.

The Cavaliers blocked four shots and swiped three steals before the break, then continued to pull away in the second half.

Beekman’s 3-pointer and a Ryan Dunn dunk — on an alley oop from Beekman — put the Cavs in front 40-19 with 14:24 and forced Miami coach Jim Larrañaga to call a timeout.

That did little to slow the Cavaliers. Groves’ 3-pointer from the left corner put UVA ahead by 26 points less than three minutes later. Miami got no closer than 22 the rest of the way.

There was little that didn’t go the Cavaliers’ way: even Miami’s Michael Nwoko obliged by missing consecutive free throws late in the game to earn fans free bacon in a long-running “Bricks for Bacon” promotion.

Norchad Omier was Miami’s only double-figure scorer with 11 points.

Virginia visits Florida State at 8 p.m. Saturday before returning home to face Pittsburgh Feb. 13.