CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (7-11, 2-5 ACC) suffered a 69-61 loss to Virginia Tech (13-4, 3-3 ACC) on Sunday (Jan. 19) at John Paul Jones Arena in a Commonwealth Clash game.
Virginia built up a 13-point lead in the first half, but Virginia Tech scored 26 points in the third quarter to tie the game 44-44 heading into the final period. The game was tied again, 55-55, with 4:38 remaining, but the Hokies outscored the Cavaliers 14-6 in the final four minutes to secure the victory.
Senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) led all scorers with 17 points. Senior guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) scored 15 points. All five Virginia Tech starters finished the game with double-digit points led by Dara Mabrey with 15 points. Elizabeth Kitley scored 12 points with 10 rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Cavaliers led 14-11 at the end of the first quarter. They used a pair of inbounds plays, the first a pass to redshirt freshman guard Amandine Toi (Paris, France) who got off a jumper in the final second of the shot clock and the second a pass to Willoughby who also fired off an immediate shot, to fuel an 8-0 run that extended its lead to 20-13. Willoughby hit a three-pointer and then made a pair of free throws in back-to-back possessions in the final 1:35 of the half to build up a 29-16 lead, but Virginia Tech’s Taja Cole made a layup in the final five seconds to make it a 29-18 game at the break.
The Hokies opened the second half on a 9-3 run, but a three-pointer from Toi temporarily halted the rally. Toi added a second trey on the Cavaliers next possession making it a 38-30 game. Virginia Tech kept chipping away, going on a 7-0 with five of those points coming from the free throw line, to make it a one-point game. A layup from senior forward Lisa Jablonowski (Ernster, Luxembourg) kept the Cavaliers in the lead but a three-pointer on the opposite end from Aisha Sheppard tied the game at 40 with 1:58 remaining in the period. Virginia Tech took its first lead of the game, 48-46, with 8:14 remaining in the game. A layup from senior guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) retied the game at 48. A three-pointer from Toussaint on the next possession put UVA back up 51-48. The game was tied, 55-55, heading into the final four minutes of play. After Virginia took a two-point lead on a Toussaint layup, Virginia Tech scored seven straight points, with five coming from the free throw line. Another Toussaint layup with 39 seconds remaining temporarily halted the run, but the Hokies scored four points from the free throw line on three possessions to build up a 10-point advantage. A layup from Toi right before the final buzzer carved the deficit to single digits.
FROM HEAD COACH TINA THOMPSON
“Tough one for us tonight. Of course we want to win all our games but it’s just a little different emotionally when it is a rivalry game. We started off really well in the first half, defensively we were on the mark with everything we were supposed to do. In the second half, we kind of fell off a little bit and missed some assignments at moments. Although we were able to score the ball consistently, we just couldn’t stop either putting them on the line or denying them to get comfortable or sweet-spot shots.”
- Virginia shot 39.7 percent (25-of-63) while Virginia Tech shot 40.7 percent (22-of-54)
- The Hokies held a 41-30 edge in rebounding
- Virginia Tech went 18-of-22 (81.8 percent) from the free throw line, including going 9-of-12 in the fourth quarter
- Jocelyn Willoughby had 15 of Virginia’s 29 points in the first half, going 6-of-9 from the field. She scored two points in the second half
- Amandine Toi scored eight points in the third quarter and finished the game with 12 points, going 5-of-6 from the field
- Dominique Toussaint scored 11 points in the fourth quarter
- Freshman guard Shemera Williams (Milwaukee, Wisc.) had a season-high eight rebounds to lead the Cavaliers
- Virginia Tech had a 5:23 scoring drought in the second quarter
- The Virginia-Virginia Tech game is part of the Commonwealth Clash presented by Virginia529, which is a head-to-head, points-based competition between the athletic teams of the Cavaliers and Hokies
- The Commonwealth Clash encourages a friendly, statewide rivalry between the two schools across all school-sponsored sports with 21 individual event points on the line
- The school that accumulates 11 points or more will be crowned the winner and take home the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash trophy.
- Virginia Tech earned a half point in the Clash and the Cavaliers lead this year’s Clash 4.5-2.5
- UVA captured the Clash in 2015, 2016 and 2019, while Virginia Tech has won the Clash in 2017 and 2018
ON THE HORIZON
- Virginia plays at No. 5 Louisville (18-1, 7-0 ACC) on Thursday, January 23 at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on the ACC Regional Sports Networks
- The Cavaliers are back at John Paul Jones Arena on Sunday. January 26, hosting Notre Dame (7-12, 2-5 ACC) in a 2 p.m. game
- Reserved single-game tickets are $8 if purchased in advance or online and $10 if purchased at the JPJ Box Office. General admission tickets are $5 if purchased in advance or online and $8 if purchased at the JPJ Box Office. Single-game courtside tickets may be purchased for $15
- For more information or to purchase tickets, fans should contact the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821). Fans can also purchase tickets online at VirginiaSports.com or in-person at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium