RICHMOND, DEC. 18 -- Virginia's lack of an inside game has created a number of dubious firsts for the Cavaliers already, less than a month into the season. First came their first loss in their Investors Classic tournament three weeks ago, and tonight a 74-72 defeat to Old Dominion before 6,842 at Richmond Coliseum, the first time Virginia has lost in the opening round of the Times-Dispatch Invitational in seven appearances.
The Monarchs (5-0) will play for the championship Saturday night against Richmond (5-1), which defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 60-58, on a 27-footer by Ken Atkinson at the buzzer. Virginia (4-3) meets Virginia Commonwealth (5-2) for the consolation.
Monarchs center Garrick Davis scored the final two of his game-high 24 points on an eight-foot bank shot with one second remaining, picking up the loose ball after the rebound of a three-point miss by the Monarchs' Anthony Carver slithered through the hands of Virginia's Bill Batts.
"I just picked it up and fired it," Davis said. "I knew it was going in -- everything I put up there all night was going in."
Garrick, who entered the game leading the nation in field goal accuracy at nearly 76 percent, hit eight of 10 from the field, was eight for eight from the foul line and had nine rebounds. "He was about as good as you can get," Monarchs Coach Tom Young said.
Garrick scored Old Dominion's final six points in the final 1:16, twice getting inside on Batts to power for layups. "We were just tossing it in there and they couldn't stop it," said Old Dominion's Frank Smith, whose precise lob pass made Davis' second power move easy.
Virginia, meanwhile, got a Kenny Turner 10-footer and a Richard Morgan three-pointer around Davis' first basket to hold a 72-70 lead with 54 seconds remaining.
After Davis' second layup tied the score with 35 seconds to go, the Cavaliers worked the clock down to :15 and called two timeouts. But on the ensuing inbounds play, Smith blanketed Virginia point guard John Johnson. Johnson, who finished with 21 points and five assists, didn't catch up to Morgan's lob into the back court before a five-second violation was called.