Virginia narrowly tops Mississippi State 60-57 in NIT

NIT_Mississippi_St_Virginia_Basketball_45728 Virginia forward Kadin Shedrick (21) hangs from the basket after a dunk during the second half against Mississippi State in an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the NIT, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Charlottesville, Va.
NIT_Mississippi_St_Virginia_Basketball_39866 Virginia forward Jayden Gardner (1) holds the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi State in the first round of the NIT, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Charlottesville, Va.
NIT_Mississippi_St_Virginia_Basketball_88690 Virginia coach Tony Bennett speaks during a timeout in the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi State in the first round of the NIT, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Charlottesville, Va.
NIT_Mississippi_St_Virginia_Basketball_83069 Virginia guard Kihei Clark (0) launches the ball to Virginia forward Jayden Gardner (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the NIT against Mississippi State, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Charlottesville, Va.
NIT_Mississippi_St_Virginia_Basketball_33168 Mississippi State forward Tolu Smith (35) is defended by a Virginia player during an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the NIT, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Charlottesville, Va.
NIT_Mississippi_St_Virginia_Basketball_85666 Virginia guard Reece Beekman (2) runs the ball against Mississippi State guard Iverson Molina during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the NIT, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Charlottesville, Va.
NIT_Mississippi_St_Virginia_Basketball_34918 Virginia forward Jayden Gardner (1) is defended by Mississippi State players, including Garrison Brooks, right, and Cameron Matthews (4) during an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the NIT, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Charlottesville, Va.
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Jayden Gardner had 16 points, Reece Beekman added 14 and Virginia beat Mississippi State 60-57 in the first round of the NIT on Wednesday night.

Beekman made two free throws with 35 seconds left for a seven-point lead.

Kihei Clark added eight points and nine assists for Virginia (20-13).

Tolu Smith had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs (18-16). Iverson Molinar and Garrison Brooks each had 13 points.

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