LAS VEGAS - Armaan Franklin scored a career-high 26 points, and No. 16 Virginia used a big second-half run to knock off No. 5 Baylor on Friday night in the team’s first game since three Cavaliers football players were killed in a campus shooting.
Virginia’s players wore sweatshirts during warmups that honored the victims from Sunday’s shooting. Before the game against No. 5 Baylor, Virginia’s players took the court wearing sweatshirts with the slain players’ names written on the back and their jersey numbers and the words "UVA Strong" written on the front.
The 16th-ranked Cavaliers were in tough fight in the first half, but ultimately went on 21-2 run in the second half to put the game away 86-79.
Kadin Shedrick, who scored 17 points, said he struggled to focus in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday and didn’t know if he would be mentally ready to play.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 18: Chase Coleman #12 of the Virginia Cavaliers wears a warmup shirt in honor of three Virginia football players, Lavel Davis Jr., D'Sean Perry and Devin Chandler, who were killed in a shooting on Sunday, before the team'
"Coming to Vegas, though, has been a great escape," he said. "I feel so much better getting out of the Charlottesville area because there’s a lot going on there right now. That’s not mentally healthy for anybody to have that around you all the time.
"I felt a lot better the last two days, and I was focused for the whole game. The last 30 seconds, I started to get a little emotional hearing everybody cheer for us. I went back to thinking about them."
Franklin said he had classes with all three players and saw them often.
"We played for them today," Franklin said. "We played for the whole Charlottesville community. Just trying to be strong for each other. It’s hard not to think about it, three dead players. Just tried to stay locked in, but know what you’re playing for."
The Cavaliers canceled their home game against Northern Iowa on Monday, the day after the shootings.
A moment of silence was held before the game, for which roughly 2,000 Cavaliers fans were in the T-Mobile Arena stands. Players put their arms around each other during the national anthem, and several hung their heads.
The three football players’ numbers were on coach Tony Bennett’s shirt.
"It’s not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s not," Bennett said. "To have that performance — I know it’s just a game — but if it brought some momentary joy to any of those guys, thank goodness for that."
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 18: Jayden Gardner (C) #1 of the Virginia Cavaliers is greeted by teammate Chase Coleman (R) #12 during player introductions before their game against the Baylor Bears during the Continental Tire Main Event basketball tou
Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., a student and former Cavaliers football player, is accused of fatally shooting Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D'Sean Perry. The players were on a bus returning from a trip to Washington to see a play.
Running back Mike Hollins Jr. was injured and recovering following two surgeries. A fifth student, Marlee Morgan, who is not on the team, was wounded and survived.
Jones faces three counts of second-degree murder and two counts of malicious wounding, among other charges. A witness told police the victims were targeted.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 18: Kadin Shedrick #21 of the Virginia Cavaliers is greeted by teammates during player introductions before their game against the Baylor Bears during the Continental Tire Main Event basketball tournament at T-Mobile Aren
The football team was scheduled to play No. 23 Coastal Carolina on Saturday, but canceled the game.
The Cavaliers basketball team will next play 19th-ranked Illinois in Sunday’s championship of the Continental Tire Main Event.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.