Armaan Franklin hit his first four shots, including a trio of 3-point tries, and Jayden Gardner led all players with 21 points and 13 rebounds as Virginia beat previously undefeated Providence 58-40 in the championship game of the Legends Classic in Newark, N.J., on Tuesday night.
Franklin, a transfer from Indiana, scored all 14 of his points in the first half before sitting out much of the second in foul trouble. Gardner, an East Carolina transfer, hit 8 of 9 shots.
Virginia (4-2) also put a stranglehold on Providence with its signature pack-line defense. The Friars hit only 23.5 percent of their shots from the floor and 13.6 percent (3 of 22 from beyond the arc). Kadin Shedrick led the Virginia defense with five blocked shots.
Providence (5-1) was paced by Noah Horchler, who had 14 points and seven rebounds, and Indiana transfer Al Durham, who added 10 points.
Virginia took the lead for good with an early 13-0 run, holding the Friars scoreless over a span of more than six minutes. Franklin triggered the spree with back-to-back 3-pointers and finished it with another trey. In between, Gardner muscled inside for a pair of buckets as Virginia built a 17-7 lead.
Before the half was over, Franklin fueled another run with two more jumpers, including one from behind the arc. Also in the 9-2 sprint that put the Cavaliers up 26-11, Franklin had a steal and fed Reece Beekman for a fastbreak layup. The basket, coming with 5:45 left in the half, was the first for a Virginia player other than Franklin or Gardner.
In the opening seconds of the second half, Franklin went to the bench with his third foul but Kihei Clark, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half, made a pair of 3-pointers to keep the Cavaliers in control.
With the help of a full-court press, Providence made a 13-2 run, with Horchler scoring eight of the points and Brycen Goodine adding the other five.
But after the Friars whittled the 17-point deficit to six at 42-36, Shadrick stopped the rally with a putback slam-dunk and Gardner powered for a 3-point play as the Cavaliers pushed their lead back into double digits.
--Field Level Media