Feb. 23, 2017
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (18-10, 7-8 ACC) fell 66-55 at No. 14 Louisville (24-6, 11-4 ACC) on Thursday (Feb. 23) at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.
The Cavaliers trailed by 11, 29-18, at halftime, but mounted a 10-2 run to start the second half to pull within three. After Louisville built the lead back to eight, Virginia again cut it back to a three-point deficit, 33-30, on a jumper from senior guard Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) with 5:04 remaining in the third, but it was as close as UVA would come. Louisville built the lead up to 14 in the fourth quarter, but the Cavaliers chipped away, with a three-pointer from junior guard Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) with 1:11 remaining making it a single-digit deficit, 58-50. Louisville built back up its final 11-point margin of victory by hitting free throws down the stretch.
Mason matched her season high by scoring 19 points, including going 5-of-6 from three-point range. Freshman Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) scored six points with 10 rebounds.
Asia Durr led the Cardinals with 24 points, going 9-of-20 from the field. Myisha Hines-Allen scored 21 points, going 7-of-14 from the field and 7-of-8 from the line.
“We were so uncomfortable offensively, we just didn’t have any flow,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “We were rigid. In the first half, rebounds really hurt us in the zone and we turned the ball over too much. We were trying to climb back in it, but we let one end of the floor affect the other. We were out of sync. Myisha Hines-Allen did a lot with rebounding and second chances points, and then we put her on the free throw line. Asia Durr just got too open. We were not tight enough on her and she got a good feel for the game and was hitting her shot. For us, Bre has been playing strong here these last couple of games and we really want her to have another good one on Sunday. Sunday’s game is a great opportunity for us, so we have to regroup from this one.”
Louisville dominated the boards, outrebounding the Cavaliers 43-24. The Cardinals grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, scoring 24 second-chance points. The Cavaliers shot 39.6 percent (19-of-48) while Louisville went 23-of-55 (41.8 percent).
The game began as a defensive battle with both teams going 2-of-10 from the field to start the contest with six turnovers apiece in the first quarter. Mason scored five of Virginia’s first eight points, with UVA trailing 11-8 heading into the second period. Louisville outscored the Cavaliers 18-10 in the second quarter, including starting the period on a 9-2 run that was halted by a three-pointer from Huland El. The Cardinals held a 29-18 advantage at the break.
The Cavaliers, fueled by a three-pointer from Mason and jumpers from three different players including Willoughby, mounted a 10-2 run to start the second half, pulling to within three, 31-28, with 5:44 remaining. After Louisville built the lead back up to eight, 38-30, a three-pointer from Mason, her eighth point of the quarter, cut it back to a five-point deficit. UVA had a chance to make it a three-point game again, but a layup from Mason circled the rim and popped back out. Hines-Allen scored a quick layup on the opposite end to put UVA down 42-35 at the end of the period.
Louisville built its lead back up to double-digits on a layup from an inbounds play and then added a three-pointer from Sydney Zambrotta to take a 52-38 lead. Virginia cut the lead back to eight, 50-58, on Huland El’s three. Mason also hit a three with 28 seconds remaining to again cut the deficit to single digits, but Louisville immediately made a pair of free throws to increase it back to an 11-point advantage. The Cardinals made their final four field goal attempts of the game, but spent the last three minutes of the game only scoring from the free throw line, going 10-of-15 from the stripe in the final quarter.
The Cavaliers will close out the regular season by hosting No. 18 NC State on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. The game is the Cavaliers’ #Play4Kay game with all fans encouraged to wear pink in order to promote breast cancer awareness. It will also be Senior Day with Mason, the lone senior on the team, being honored in a brief on-court pregame ceremony.
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).