Virginia Falls 59-48 to No. 18 NC State
Box Score Feb. 26, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (18-11, 7-9 ACC) closed out the 2016-17 regular season with a 59-48 loss to No. 18 NC State (22-7, 12-4 ACC) on Sunday (Feb. 26) at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.
NC State hit the first field goal of the game and led from that point onward. The Cavaliers cut a 13-point deficit down to seven points four times in the fourth quarter, but could not get any closer.
Virginia shot 28.6 percent (16-of-56) while NC State went 42.2 percent from the field (19-of-45). The Wolfpack held a 37-36 edge in rebounding.
Junior guard Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) scored 10 points to lead the Cavaliers, with seven of those points coming in the fourth quarter. Senior guard Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) scored seven points with five rebounds on her senior day.
Dominique Wilson scored 17 points to lead the Wolfpack. Ashley Williams had 12 points.
“I am obviously disappointed in the loss,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “[NC State head coach] Wes [Moore] has a veteran team and how they played today is how they’ve been playing all year. He was gong to make us shoot outside. He wasn’t going to give us anything in the paint. It was a physical game and I think we didn’t finish well when we did get in the paint. We left a lot of bunnies on the rim. We didn’t really see other opportunities like the drive and the kicks that were there. I felt like we were just trying to put our head down and go to the basket and not really see what was going on around us. I thought we could’ve done a better job with that. The loss hurts, but it also hurts for us to lose on Bre’s [Breyana Mason] senior night. That’s not how we want to have her leave on this home court.”
NC State made three of its first four three-point attempts to take an early 9-3 lead. Virginia converted four-straight field goal attempts, capped by a three-pointer from junior guard J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.) to pull to within three, 13-10. UVA missed its final six field goal attempts of the quarter while the Wolfpack closed the period on a 6-0 run to take a 19-11 lead.
Both teams started the second quarter cold, combining to start the period 2-of-11. NC State found its shot first, going on a 7-0 run to take a 28-16 lead. Brown hit a three-pointer in transition, but the Wolfpack kept the Cavaliers from building up momentum by immediately answering with a three of their own on the opposite end. NC State took a 31-20 lead into the break.
The two teams traded points through the third quarter until Brown made a layup with 8.3 seconds remaining. NC State seemingly answered with a layup at the buzzer, but after the referees reviewed the play, the basket was ruled to have come after the buzzer and was taken off the scoreboard. UVA trailed 41-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
The two teams continued to trade points through the fourth quarter with a three-pointer from Huland El putting UVA within seven, 53-46, with 1:27 remaining. Huland El was fouled on a three-point attempt in UVA’s next possession, converting two of the three to once again make it a seven-point game, 55-48, with 1:04 remaining. The Cavaliers began fouling and sending the Wolfpack to the line. UVA had a prime opportunity when Micah Spencer missed the second of her free throw attempts, but DD Rogers grabbed the offensive rebound. Dominique Wilson missed two free throws with 42 seconds remaining, but Chelsea Nelson grabbed the offensive rebound, keeping NC State’s possession alive. The Wolfpack went 8-of-19 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
Virginia finished the season alone in eighth place in the ACC standings and will face nine-seed Wake Forest (15-14, 6-10 ACC) in a second-round ACC Tournament game on Thursday, March 2 at 2 p.m. at the HTC Center in Conway, S.C. For more information about the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament, visit the #ACCWBB40 page at www.theacc.com/wbbtourney.