Virginia defeats No. 22 Miami 76-56
Jan. 03, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia women’s basketball team (11-4, 1-0 ACC) opened up Atlantic Coast Conference play on Sunday (Jan. 3) with a 76-56 victory over No. 22 Miami (13-2, 1-1 ACC) at John Paul Jones Arena.
Leading by one after the first quarter, Virginia shot 63.2 percent (12-of-19) in the second in outscoring Miami 28-9 and followed that up by outscoring the Hurricanes 23-12 in the third when the Cavaliers had their largest lead of 33 points. Miami scored 24 points in the fourth period to narrow the deficit, but the Cavaliers still managed to open the conference season with a 20-point victory over a ranked opponent.
“I am really proud of the team and the effort they gave tonight,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “During non-conference, we were tested by some great teams and that has prepared us what we are facing now. This team, especially the upper classmen, knows Miami and knows their strengths and weaknesses. We played unbelievable defense in the first half and got some easy baskets for ourselves. It was sloppy in the first quarter, but once we cleaned that up, I think we had an edge. It was the jitters early and we were trying to do too much. Once we got comfortable, we just played our game. We turned it over but never stopped playing through our mistakes. I thought once we settled in, we were able to do what we needed to do.”
Miami committed 28 turnovers with the Cavaliers scoring 26 points off the miscues. The Cavaliers were 6-of-9 (66.7 percent) from three-point range, with sophomore Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) going 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Senior Faith Randolph (Derwood, Md.) was one of five Cavaliers to finish the game in double figures, scoring 16 points while also contributing eight assists, four steals and four rebounds. Sophomore Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.) also scored 16 points with six rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. Junior Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) scored 14 points with a game-high seven rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Jessica Thomas was the lone Hurricane to finish with double-digit points, scoring 12.
Virginia never trailed in the game, with a layup from Moses a minute into the contest starting a 10-3 opening run. Despite not hitting a basket the final 4:07 in the first, UVA headed into the second period holding a 12-11 advantage. Both teams combined for 19 turnovers in the first quarter.
Randolph ended the Cavaliers’ scoring drought 15 seconds into the second period, igniting a 12-2 run that put the Cavaliers up 24-13 with seven minutes remaining in the half. Randolph and Mason, who each went 4-of-4 shooting in the period, combined to score 17 of Virginia’s 28 points. UVA’s defense limited the Hurricanes to two made-baskets in the quarter with the Cavaliers taking a 40-20 lead into halftime.
The Cavaliers scored the first seven points of the second half, the start of a 22-9 run in the period, going up 62-29 on Huland El’s third three with 1:40 remaining in the period.
Miami’s bench chipped away at the Cavalier lead in the fourth period, with the non-starters contributing 18 points to cut the deficit back down to 20, 76-56, on a layup from Zada Williams with 2:43 remaining. The two teams traded baskets to finish out the game.
Miami held a 39-31 edge in rebounding. The Hurricanes shot 38.9 percent (21-of-54) overall and were 3-of-14 (21.4 percent) from three-point range. Virginia finished the game at 48.3 percent shooting (29-of-60).
The victory was the Cavaliers’ first win over a ranked team since defeating No. 8 Louisville, 75-59, in last season’s March 1 regular-season finale.
Virginia, which has won six of its last seven games, closes out its current homestand by hosting No. 3 Notre Dame on Thursday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.
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).