Dec. 17, 2017
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (5-6) picked up a 77-59 victory over Ohio (5-4) on Sunday (Dec. 17) at the West Palm Invitational Tournament in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Ohio built up an 11-point lead in the first quarter, but the Cavaliers rallied in the second to lead 35-34 at the break. Virginia had a dominant 21-0 run in the third quarter to take charge of the contest.
“In the last three quarters today, we played some of our best basketball of the season,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “We called a timeout in the second quarter and got after the girls. They just responded. They had a lot of conversation amongst themselves and really dialed in at the defensive end of the floor. I think we did a great job of getting stops and we came down and finally started hitting some shots and layups. I thought we had some really good ball movement and just played some heady basketball. There was really good execution out there and was a fun game to watch.”
Senior guard Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) led the offensive attack with 17 points, one of four Cavaliers to finish the game in double figures. Sophomore center Felicia Aiyeotan (Lagos, Nigeria) had a career-high 14 rebounds, also scoring 10 points for her second double-double of the season.
Ohio’s Amani Burke scored 14 points, going 3-of-6 from three-point range for the Bobcats.
Ohio started the game with a hot shooting, going 6-of-11 from three-point range in the first quarter to build up a 28-19 lead. The Cavaliers charged back in the second quarter, starting the period on a 10-1 run to tie the game, 29-29, on a layup from Aiyeotan. Back-to-back threes from sophomore guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) put the Cavaliers ahead 35-31 with just under three minutes remaining in the half. Cierra Hooks made the Bobcats lone field goal of the period, hitting a three with 1:51 remaining, to make it a 35-34 game. The Cavaliers took that same one-point advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Ohio’s Katie Barker hit a three-pointer to start the third period, pushing the Bobcats out to a 37-35 lead, but the Cavaliers mounted a 21-0 run, with Huland El contributing eight points and senior forward Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.) scoring six to give UVA a 56-37 lead. Burke halted the run by hitting a three with 2:41 remaining in the period.
Virginia took a 60-42 lead into the fourth quarter. Redshirt senior guard J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.), who went 4-of-5 from three-point range in the game, hit two of her long-range shots in the fourth quarter, helping to keep the Cavaliers firmly in the lead. Brown ended the game with 14 points and matching a career high with six assists.
Virginia dominated the boards with a 51-22 advantage, including grabbing 20 offensive rebounds, and outscored Ohio 30-14 in the paint.
Ohio went 12-of-39 (30.8 percent) from three-point range, starting the game 6-of-11 but just hitting six of its final 27 long-range attempts. Virginia went 9-of-18 (50.0 percent) from three-point range. The Cavalier defense limited the Bobcats to 1-of-13 (7.7 percent) shooting in the second quarter and 1-of-9 (11.1 percent) to start the third period.
This was the first game for the Cavaliers after a 12-day exam break.
Virginia will finish the tournament by taking on Indiana (6-5, 0-0 Big Ten) on Monday (Dec. 18) at noon at the Student Life Center at Keiser University in West Palm Beach Fla. Virginia is 3-0 all-time versus Indiana. The last time the two teams met was on Dec. 1, 2011 when UVA won 65-49 in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers are looking for their first win over a Big Ten team this season after falling to Maryland and Rutgers.