Nov. 25, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (3-3) picked up a 50-48 victory over Harvard (3-3) in the opening game of the Cavalier Classic Tournament, presented by DoubleTree by Hilton University Area, on Saturday (Nov. 25) at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.
Harvard held a nine-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Cavaliers went on a 9-0 run in the final 3:44 of the game to pick up the victory.
Senior forward Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.) had the ninth double-double of her career, scoring a team-high 13 points with 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) scored 12 points with eight rebounds, including seven O-boards. Katie Benzan and Madeline Raster each scored 11 points for the Crimson with Benzan grabbing a team-high seven rebounds.
Neither team shot the ball well with UVA going 16-of-62 (25.8 percent) from the field and Harvard making 38.3 percent (18-of-47) of its attempts.
“I was just happy to get the win,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “It was a tough go, to say the least. The ball was not falling for us, but there was no quit in us today. We’ve been searching to find our identity and we always say it’s on the defensive end of the floor. I thought Lauren [Moses] did a good job as did Joceyln [Willoughby] with taking charges, winning 50-50 balls and getting stops when we needed to. We never lost our composure and we stayed in the moment, and because of that, we came out on the winning side.”
Both teams started the game suffering from cold shooting with the Cavaliers missing their first 12 field goal attempts. Sophomore guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) ended the UVA drought by hitting a jumper with 2:05 remaining in the period. Harvard also started slowly, going 3-of-13 (23.1 percent) in the first quarter. The two teams were tied 7-7 heading into the second period. UVA struggled again from the field, going 1-of-11 to start the quarter and a combined 3-of-26 to start the game. A layup from senior guard J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.) followed by a three-pointer from Willoughby gave the Cavaliers some momentum and a five-point lead, 23-17, in the final 30 seconds of the half, but Benzan hit a three-pointer for the Crimson to close out the frame, making it a 23-20 UVA advantage at the break.
In the third quarter, Virginia took advantage of a five-minute scoring drought by Harvard to go up 30-24 on a three from Toussaint. Harvard scrapped back, going on a 6-0 run to tie the game, 30-30, with 2:20 remaining. Raster extended the streak by hitting a three. Taylor Rooks was fouled under the hoop as Raster’s shot was going end, sending her to the line where she made both free throws to make it a five-point play and a 35-30 advantage. Harvard hit two more free throws to make it a 13-0 run, taking a 37-30 lead into the fourth quarter, extending the advantage to 39-30 in the opening of the fourth quarter.
Senior guard Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) halted Crimson’s run 1:11 into the fourth, hitting a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 39-33. The Cavaliers trailed by five, 46-41 heading into the final five minutes of the game. The Cavaliers still faced a five-point deficit, trailing 48-43, in the final 1:45. Willoughby grabbed an offensive rebound after a missed free throw, getting the putback to narrow the gap to 48-45 with 1:35 remaining. Moses grabbed a steal to give UVA the ball with 54.3 seconds remaining. Huland El drained a three-pointer to tie the game at 48 with 51 seconds remaining. Toussaint missed a layup with 8.3 seconds remaining, but Moses grabbed the rebound and was fouled, with Moses making one of two at the line. Harvard grabbing the rebound, with Raster making an attempt on the opposite end, but Moses blocked the shot. Willoughby made one of two free throws in the final second to close out the victory for the Cavaliers.
Virginia held a 45-35 edge in rebounds. Harvard committed 20 turnovers while UVA turned the ball over 13 times.
The Cavaliers will be going for the 900th win in program history on Sunday, when they take on Duquesne at 3:30 p.m. in the tournament finale. Virginia goes into the game with an 899-443 record in the 45 year history of the program.
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).