Virginia Falls to North Carolina at the Buzzer
Feb. 26, 2015
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. The Virginia women’s basketball team (16-12, 6-9 ACC) fell 72-70 at No. 15 North Carolina (23-6, 10-5 ACC) Thursday (Feb. 26) at Carmichael Arena.
Virginia had trailed by nine points, 70-61, with 2:25 left in the game, but freshman guard Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) hit a runner in the lane with 21 seconds remaining to finish erasing the deficit and tie the game, 70-70. North Carolina’s Alisha Gray took a shot with one second left on the clock, but missed. UNC’s Stephanie Mavunga grabbed the offensive rebound, taking an immediate shot just before the buzzer to score the winning basket.
“It was a gutsy game by both teams and it is just hard to come out on this end of it,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “I am really proud of my team with how they fought and executed down the stretch. I think what it comes down to is we turned the ball over 21 times and we shot poorly from the free throw line. To me, that is the story. It doesn’t come down to one play.”
Virginia went 7-of-17 from the free throw line. The Cavaliers were 28-of-55 (50.9 percent) from the field, including making seven of 15 three-point attempts. North Carolina was 30-of-71 (42.3 percent) from the field and 8-of-14 from the free throw line.
Junior guard Faith Randolph (Derwood, Md.) scored 24 points, going 4-of-5 from three-point range, with five assists and two steals. Senior center Sarah Imovbioh (Abuja, Nigeria) scored 11 points with 12 rebounds for her 12th double-double of the season.
Mavunga scored 23 points, going 10-of-15 from the field, with eight rebounds.
Virginia opened the game making its first four field goal attempts, jumping out to a 9-0 lead. The Cavaliers kept up the hot shooting, making 8 of their first 11 shots to extend the lead to 18-6 with 11:52 remaining. The Tar Heels took advantage of four turnovers and three-straight UVa missed shots to score 15-straight points in a span of 3:37 to take a 21-18. The half had seven lead changes, capped by UNC’s Latifah Coleman making a jump shot with 45 seconds left to send the Tar Heels into the break with a 35-33 lead.
Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.) opened the second half with a jumper to tie game, but the Tar Heels answered with a 6-0 run. A three from freshman guard Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) followed by another Moses jumper got the Cavaliers to within one, but UNC held onto the lead. The Tar Heels scored on seven-straight possessions to extend the lead to 61-51 with 10 minutes remaining.
A layup by Imovbioh with 2:24 remaining started the 9-0 game-tying run for the Cavaliers. Randolph hit a pair of free throws and then got an and-one with 1:07 remaining to narrow the gap to 70-68 before Venson finished the run with 21 seconds left.
Virginia has now lost 19 of the last 20 meetings between the two schools with the Cavaliers’ last victory coming in an 82-78 double-overtime game in Charlottesville in 2010. UVa’s last win in Chapel Hill was in 2001. The Tar Heels have a 22-12 record vs. UVa on their home court.
Virginia closes out the 2014-15 regular season on Sunday, March 1, hosting No. 8 Louisville at 1 p.m. A special ceremony honoring Virginia’s lone graduating senior, Sarah Beth Barnette, will take place prior to the game.
Single-game ticket prices for all home games are $10 for Reserved seating, $8 for adult General Admission and $6 for youth (18 & under), senior (60 & over) and UVa faculty/staff General Admission. Fans may purchase home game tickets through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office online at VirginiaSports.com, by phone and in person. The Virginia Athletics Ticket Office is located in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium and open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Telephone purchases can be made by calling 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821) or locally at 434-924-UVA1 (8821).