Dons upset No. 4 Cavaliers in Homelight Classic in Connecticut

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The San Francisco Dons picked up one of their biggest wins in program history. They defeated the No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers on Friday afternoon.

The Dons won 61-60 over the Cavaliers in the Homelight Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

San Francisco Dons guard Jamaree Bouyea drives to the basket against the Virginia Cavaliers
Jamaree Bouyea drives to the basket against the Virginia Cavaliers (Photo by Johnnie Izquierdo/San Francisco Dons Athletics)

“I’m incredibly proud of our players for the way they executed both mentally and physically,” Dons head coach Todd Golden said. “We showed tremendous toughness.  Virginia is a program that we want to be like, they are incredibly well coached, they are tough, they play to win, they play for each other. To go on a neutral court and beat them is a springboard kind of win for our program.”

Related: Wichita State promoted Isaac Brown to interim head coach

The Dons improved to 2-1 on the season with the win. The loss dropped the Cavaliers to 1-1.

The loss also was the first non-conference loss for the Cavaliers since the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The No. 16 UMBC Retrievers made history, as they became the first No. 16 seed to defeat the No. 1 ranked Cavaliers in the March Madness Tournament.

In addition, this was the Dons first win over a Top 5 team since 1981. San Francisco defeated then-No. 2 Wichita State Shockers, 84-74, on December 29, 1981.

Related: Shockers head coach Gregg Marshall resigns amid misconduct allegations

San Francisco ended the game on an 8-0 run. Sam Hauser missed a three-pointer with two seconds left in the game. Trey Murphy III was not able to tip in the game-winning before the buzzer went off.

“Look at it in the mirror, grow from it,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said. “We’ve got to kind of harden up. We’ve got to get gritty. We’ve got to be tougher to score against and be the best version of ourselves.”

Justin McKoy and Reece Beekman led the Cavaliers with 11 points. McKoy also had six rebounds and one assist.

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Beekman contributed four rebounds and one block.

Three players scored in double figures for the Cavaliers. Two of the three were starters.

Beckman led the bench with 11 points. Virginia had 22 bench points.

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Jamaree Bouyea led the Dons with 19 points. In addition, he had three rebounds, six assists, and two steals.

“Jamaree was the best player on the court [on Friday],” Golden said. “He played 36 minutes and masterfully controlled the game on both sides of the court – the way he defended Kihei Clark was a big reason why we got this done.”

Bouyea was one of three Dons to score double digits. Two of the three came from starters.

Related: JMU hires Mark Byington as men’s basketball coach

Dzmitry Ryuny led the bench with 10 points. San Francisco had 20 bench points.

“Nothing is assumed because of what’s on the front of your jersey,” Bennett said.

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