Virginia Falls 58-55 to Pitt
Jan. 24, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (13-8, 3-4 ACC) fell 58-55 to Pittsburgh (9-11, 1-6 ACC) on Sunday (Jan. 24) at John Paul Jones Arena.
Led by 12 points from sophomore Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) in the final five minutes of the game, the Cavaliers narrowed a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to one point, 54-53, with 28.7 seconds remaining, but could not get the defensive stop they needed as Pitt held on to win its first ACC game of the season.
“I thought we fought hard to get back into it, but we didn’t get the necessary stops,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “We had some let downs and either fouled or had miscommunication on defensive assignments which led to Pitt getting some easy buckets and put-backs. We go into scoring droughts that puts so much pressure on the other end of the floor. I think in general we were playing good defense, but we had lapses.”
Venson finished the game with 14 points, going 3-of-14 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Junior Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) also scored 14 points, with four rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.) scored nine points with nine rebounds, including seven offensive boards, and a career-high four steals.
Pitt’s Fred Potvin, in her first start of the season, scored a career-high 19 points, going 5-of-11 from three-point range.
Virginia was 15-of-55 from the field (27.3 percent) while Pittsburgh went 18-of-44 (40.9 percent). The Cavaliers were 21-of-26 (80.8 percent) from the free throw line while Pitt was 14-of-18 (77.8 percent). Pitt’s Wise was 10-of-12 from the free throw line, scoring all but two of her points from the stripe. Both teams grabbed 35 rebounds.
Pittsburgh went on an 11-2 run in the first quarter with Povin scoring 12 points, going 4-of-4 from three-point range, in the first 7:22. Pittsburgh made 8-of-11 shots in the first quarter, including going 7-of-9 from three-point range to lead 25-12.
In the second quarter, the two teams combined to score just two points in the first five minutes, a jumper from junior Sydney Umeri (Acworth, Ga.), and finished the period with a combined 11 points, sending the Cavaliers into the break trailing 30-18.
A three-pointer from sophomore Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.), the first of her eight points in the period, narrowed the gap to single-digits, 32-25, with 7:46 remaining in the third quarter. A steal, followed by a fastbreak layup on the opposite end from Mason narrowed the gap to three, 37-34, with 2:31 left in the quarter. Moses took a charge and then was fouled on the opposite end, converting two free throws to make it a one-point game. After trading points, the teams headed to the fourth quarter with Pitt holding a 39-38 lead.
The Panthers opened the fourth quarter scoring 10 unanswered points to lead 47-38 with seven minutes left in the game. The Cavaliers did not make a field goal in the first 6:14 of the fourth quarter, with a three from sophomore Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) snapping a 0-of-7 stretch. A second three from Venson made it a four-point deficit, 54-50, with 1:20 remaining. A pair of free throws from Venson with 30 seconds remaining narrowed the gap to one, 54-53, with 28.7 seconds left in the game.
Virginia’s defense, which had forced six Panther turnovers in the fourth quarter, could not get a seventh, instead committing a foul with 19 seconds remaining, sending Brenna Wise to the line. Wise converted both attempts to put Pitt back up by three. Mason hit a pull-up jumper in the final 10 seconds. UVA had to commit an immediate foul, with the Panthers making both free throws on the opposite end. Venson threw up a contested three right before the buzzer, but the ball did not make it to the hoop.
Virginia travels to NC State to take on the Wolfpack on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C. The Cavaliers will be back at home on Sunday, Feb. 7, hosting Virginia Tech at 2 p.m.
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).