Nov. 29, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (3-5) fell 60-59 to No. 15 Maryland (6-2) in the 2017 Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday (Nov. 29) at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.
Maryland led 34-25 at halftime and held a 12-point advantage midway through the third period, but the Cavaliers scored the final six points of the third quarter and the first five points of the fourth to take a 54-51 lead. After neither team scored for a three-minute span late in the fourth quarter, Maryland hit a jumper with 40 seconds remaining to take a 59-58 lead. The Cavaliers had the final possession of the game, trailing by one with 12.4 seconds remaining, but Maryland’s defense held on to secure the 60-59 victory.
“This was a tough loss,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “I thought it was a great, competitive game. I am just proud of the girls, but also give a lot of credit to Maryland. We had a game plan and for the most part we executed. We just could not hit some chippies down the stretch and came up on the short end. I appreciate that they believed they could win this game, they had a fight about them. We never quit, even when we got down 10 or 12, we had a fight. We just have to be able to build off of this.
“I hate the words `moral victory.’ For me it’s just more about the leading, setting a standard, competing every night, believing you can win and no matter what the deficit, you can always come back. I just hope this is a game for us that shows us what we can do. Hopefully we can build off of that moving forward.”
Sophomore guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) scored 18 points, with eight of those coming in the first five minutes of the game. Sophomore center Felicia Aiyeotan (Lagos, Nigeria) scored 10 points with six rebounds and six blocked shots. Senior forward Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.) had a season-high 11 rebounds.
Maryland had four players score in double figures with Stephanie Jones and Kaila Charles each scoring 13 points.
Virginia shot 44.6 percent (25-of-56) including going 11-of-14 in the third quarter (78.6 percent). Maryland went 23-of-63 (36.5 percent). The Terrapins held a 38-37 edge in rebounding.
The Cavaliers started strong, taking a 10-6 lead in the first three minutes on back-to-back threes from Toussaint and redshirt senior guard J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.), but Maryland went on a 6-0 run to retake the lead and outscored UVA 14-5 through the end of the period to take a 20-15 lead into the second quarter.
Virginia again started the second half strong with back-to-back scores from Aiyeotan and Brown pulling UVA to within one, 20-19. The Cavaliers trailed by two, 25-23, midway through the quarter, but the Terps hit three three-pointers in the latter half of the period to take a 34-25 advantage into the break.
After not scoring for the final 3:36 of the first half, Virginia got on the scoreboard first in the second, with Toussaint blazing down the floor on a breakaway 50 seconds into the period. The Terrapins countered with a 7-2 run to push their advantage to double digits, 41-29. Back-to-back steals that translated into fastbreak layups from sophomore guard Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) and Toussaint pulled the Cavaliers to within six, 43-37, with 3:42 remaining in the period. The Cavaliers scored six points in the final 53 seconds of the period, including back-to-back fastbreak layups from Toussaint and senior guard Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.), to pull to within two, 51-49.
Brown tied the game on a jumper 41 seconds into the fourth quarter with Huland El draining a three from the corner to give the Cavaliers a 54-51 lead with 7:40 remaining. Huland El’s three-pointer capped a 9-of-9 shooting spree for the Cavaliers, spanning from the 4:13 mark of the third period. Maryland’s Kristen Confroy ended the Virginia run with a three-pointer to tie the game 54-54 with 6:30 remaining. After three lead changes, UVA held a 58-57 lead with 1:34 remaining. Maryland ended a 1-of-11 shooting slump and a three-minute scoring drought by both teams when Charles hit a jumper with 40 seconds remaining to give Maryland a 59-58 edge. Charles went 1-of-2 from the line with 18 seconds remaining to put the Terrapins up 60-58. Moses was fouled on a putback attempt with 14 seconds remaining. She went to the line, making one of two attempts to make it a 60-59 game. Maryland turned the ball over with 12.4 seconds remaining, giving the Cavaliers a final possession. Toussaint shot a three-point attempt, but it went off the rim. Willoughby grabbed the rebound and tried for a putback, but the Maryland defense forced the shot to go awry.
This was the first meeting between Virginia and Maryland since the Terrapins left the ACC for the Big Ten.
The Cavaliers now have a 5-6 record in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. This is Virginia’s fifth straight loss in the Challenge.
Virginia closes out its current homestand on Saturday, Dec. 2, hosting UNCG at 6 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).