FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) Ryan Dunn scored 13 points and grabbed a rebound off teammate Reece Beekman’s missed free throw with 2.3 seconds left to secure No. 24 Virginia’s 56-54 victory over West Virginia in the third-place game of the Fort Myers Tip-Off on Wednesday night.

Beekman hit the first of two free throws and when his second attempt missed, Dunn snagged the long rebound with 0.4 seconds left and added another from the line for the Cavaliers.

“That was a perfect miss,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said with a smile. “We even got the rebound.”

After a 65-41 loss to Wisconsin on Monday, Bennett liked his team’s intensity two days later. Beekman scored five of his 12 points in the final 2:41.

“I’m a leader of the team and I have to choose the right time to be assertive,” he said. “Never force it and look to attack.”

Bennett added, “Down the stretch, he scored off the dribble and that’s big time. The game often comes down to making plays at certain times.”

Virginia (5-1) once again relied on its defense. The Cavaliers entered the game ranked fifth in the nation in scoring defense at 53.8 points per game.

“Tony is somebody I’ve always admired and it was great to line up and compete against them,” West Virginia interim coach Josh Eilert said. “At the end of the day, it was a couple of possessions. I told our guys we have a small margin for error. These are the challenges we face. We had 16 turnovers so we gotta be better with the ball. And get locked in.”

Jesse Edwards and Quinn Slazinski each scored 17 points for West Virginia (2-3), which shot 37.3%.

“I’m really proud of this team to put up that performance,” Edwards said. “We’re getting so much better every game. It’s just a shame we couldn’t put this in the win column.”

Virginia struggled offensively early, with one field goal in the first 5:45 of the game, but found its range and led 26-23 at halftime.

Virginia tightened its defense in the second half. The Cavaliers forced two shot-clock violations in the first seven minutes and limited West Virginia to just three points. Virginia capitalized and built its lead to 10 points at 36-26.

West Virginia rallied, hitting three straight 3-pointers, including two by Seth Wilson, to take a 42-40 lead before Virginia rallied.

Isaac McKneely exchanged pushes with a pair of West Virginia players. He and Slazinski received double-technicals for their confrontation.


Virginia evened its series with West Virginia at 10-10. The series dates back to the 1915-16 season for the schools located 233 miles apart. The teams last played in 2017.


Michigan, Xavier, Virginia Tech and South Carolina will be participating in the 2024 Fort Myers Tip-Off, scheduled for Nov. 25-27.


West Virginia: Hosts Bellarmine on Sunday.

Virginia: Hosts Texas A&M on Wednesday.


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