Jan. 14, 2018
DURHAM, N.C. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (12-7, 5-1 ACC) suffered a 55-48 loss at No. 16 Duke (14-4, 3-2 ACC) on Sunday (Jan. 14) at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.
In a game with seven lead changes, the Cavaliers held an early 11-point advantage in the first quarter after shooting 70.0 percent in the period, but the Blue Devils came back to hold a 24-23 lead at halftime. Virginia tied the game, 32-32, in the third quarter, but the Blue Devils built back up a 43-36 lead early in the fourth quarter. UVA rallied, pulling to within one, 49-48, with 1:12 remaining. Duke went 6-of-8 from the free throw line down the stretch while the Cavaliers missed three shots in the final 30 seconds as the Blue Devils held on for the victory.
The loss snapped Virginia’s eight-game win streak and was the team’s first ACC loss this season.
Senior guard Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) scored a team-high 14 points. Sophomore guard Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) had her second straight double-double, scoring 11 points with 10 rebounds.
Duke’s Lexie Brown scored a team-high 14 points, all in the second half.
“This was just a hard-fought game,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “It was competitive and great, but we came up short and it’s disappointing. We’re going to keep working and we had a great start to the season and this isn’t going to be a setback. We’re going to keep learning and keep growing and keep moving forward as a team.”
The Cavaliers started the game red hot, making five of their first six field goal attempts, including going 3-of-4 from three-point range, while the Blue Devils made just one of their first eight shots. Duke, which scored seven of its first nine points off turnovers, mounted a 7-0 run late in the quarter. Huland El stopped the run by scoring a jumper off an offensive rebound with 2:39 remaining. Redshirt senior guard J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.) followed with a three-pointer to give the Cavaliers an 18-9 lead.
Virginia led 18-11 going into the second quarter, a lead that evaporated when the Cavaliers started the period 0-of-7 shooting with four turnovers. Duke chipped away at its deficit and then took a 20-18 lead before Huland El ended the UVA scoring drought by hitting a jumper 7:20 into the period to tie the game at 20. A three-pointer from Willoughby with two minutes remaining put UVA up 23-20. Duke retook the lead when Rebecca Greenwell was fouled with 0.2 seconds remaining in the half and she converted both free throw attempts to put the Blue Devils up 24-23 at the break.
Virginia scored its first nine points of the third quarter from beyond the arc, starting the period 3-of-4 from long range. Huland El tied the game, 32-32, on the third of those treys, but Duke then scored five-straight to take a 37-32 lead. A jumper from sophomore forward Lisa Jablonowski (Ernster, Luxembourg) followed by a hook shot from sophomore center Felicia Aiyeotan (Lagos, Nigeria) pulled UVA to within one, 37-36, but Duke’s Haley Goreki closed the period with a three to give the Blue Devils a 40-36 advantage.
The Cavaliers pulled to within two, 43-41, after a three-pointer from sophomore guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) followed by an offensive rebound and quick jumper from Brown, but Duke built up a 49-43 lead with 1:51 remaining. A three-pointer from Toussaint followed by a steal and a fastbreak layup from Brown put the Cavaliers within one, 49-48, with 1:10 remaining. The Cavalier took three shots from beyond the arc in the final minute of the game, including an attempt from Brown that circled the rim before popping back out, but couldn’t cut into the deficit. Duke went 6-of-8 from the free throw line in the final 41 seconds to close out the victory.
Virginia shot 37.3 percent (19-of-51) while Duke went 17-of-44 (38.6 percent). UVA went 10-of-25 (40.0 percent) from three-point range while the Blue Devils made five of 16 long-range attempts (31.3 percent). Virginia held a 32-30 edge in rebounding. Virginia committed 19 turnovers with Duke scoring 20 points off the miscues. Virginia forced the Blue Devils to turn the ball over 13 times. Duke has now won the last 26 consecutive meetings between the two teams.
The Cavaliers have a bye next Thursday before returning home on Sunday, January 21 when they host Virginia Tech (12-3, 1-1 ACC) at 12:30 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).