CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — John Carter Jr. scored 19 points, Sean Yoder added 15 and Navy got its first win over a ranked team since the David Robinson era, stunning No. 25 Virginia 66-58 in the season opener for both teams on Tuesday night.
The Midshipmen beat a team ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 – where Virginia’s stay will be brief – for the first time since Robinson led them past Syracuse 97-85 on March 16, 1986.
East Carolina transfer Jayden Gardner led Virginia with 18 points, but after the Cavaliers tied the game at 55-all with 8:53 left, they didn’t score again for more than 8 1/2 minutes. Another transfer, Armaan Franklin, made a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left.
Yoder, meanwhile, scored twice inside and Daniel Deaver had a putback while Virginia went cold, making one of its last 10 shots.
Franklin’s 3-pointer was his second field goal. The Indiana transfer, coveted for his outside shooting, missed nine of 11 shots and six of seven 3s in his Cavaliers debut.
Carter scored 16 of his points in the first 13 minutes as Navy blistered the Cavaliers from long range, making eight of its first 10 3-point tries. The Mids made two of their next 10 before Carter connected for his fifth with 24 seconds to play. That gave Navy a 64-55 lead and sent fans filing for the exits.
Navy: A hot shooting start in a hostile atmosphere demonstrated that while the Midshipmen lost their best player from last year’s team, their four returning starters play with a confidence borne of experience. Carter and Yoder led the long-distance success, but three others made a 3.
Virginia: Coach Tony Bennett’s signature pack-line defense often struggles early in the season, especially when incorporating new players like Gardner and Franklin. That was especially true early as the Mids made eight 3-pointers in the first 13 minutes.
The Midshipmen remain in Virginia to face Virginia Tech on Friday night, the second of three straight games against Atlantic Coast Conference foes. The last time Navy faced three teams from the ACC was the 1968-69 season.
The Cavaliers remain at home and play Radford on Friday night.