Jayden Gardner’s 26 pace No. 5 Virginia to easy win vs. Maryland Eastern Shore

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Jayden Gardner scored a season-high 26 points for No. 5 Virginia in a wire-to-wire 72-45 home victory Friday night against Maryland Eastern Shore in Charlottesville, Va.

Kadin Shedrick added 13 points for the Cavaliers (5-0), who shot 52.9 percent for the game. Gardner, who scored a total of 31 points in the first four games, made 12 of 15 shots from the field.

Maryland Eastern Shore (2-4) fell to 0-4 on the road. Zion Styles topped the Hawks with 11 points and Nathaniel Pollard Jr. added nine points and six rebounds.

On a night when they matched a season low with five 3-pointers, the Cavaliers controlled the action inside the arc against the smaller Hawks. Virginia outscored UMES 40-22 in the paint.

The Hawks shot just 34.5 percent overall and 16.7 percent (3 of 18) from long distance. They turned the ball over 15 times, which the Cavaliers turned into 20 points.

Reece Beekman had nine points and four steals and Kihei Clark added five points and eight assists for Virginia.

The Cavaliers were up 58-34 after a Gardner layup, Shedrick’s steal and dunk and Gardner’s second-chance layup with 12:19 left.

Virginia led by at least 20 points the rest of the way.

The Cavaliers took their largest lead at 72-43 on a 3-pointer by Chase Coleman with 32 seconds left.

Virginia improved to 21-0 all-time against current members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

The Cavaliers also improved to 108-2 under coach Tony Bennett when holding opponents under 50 points.

Virginia started fast, scoring the game’s first eight points and building a 20-4 lead in the first eight minutes.

The Cavaliers led 40-20 with 1:49 remaining in the half after three straight buckets by Gardner.

Gardner, whose previous season high was 12 points, scored 18 in the first half as Virginia led 40-22 at the break.

–Field Level Media

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