CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (13-16, 8-10 ACC) dropped its final game of the regular season, 75-64, to No. 8 NC State (25-4, 14-3 ACC) on Sunday (March 1) at John Paul Jones Arena.
NC State started the game making its first 13 three-point attempts, building up a 14-point halftime lead that it extended to a 20-point advantage early in the third quarter. The Cavaliers cut the deficit to eight in the final two minutes of the game, but could not complete the comeback.
Despite the loss, the Cavaliers secured the No. 9 seed in the 2020 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament and will have a first-round bye. Virginia will begin play with a second-round game against the No. 8 seed, Syracuse, on Thursday, March 5 at 2 p.m.
A trio of freshmen finished with double-digit points for the Cavaliers, led by a 13-point performance from redshirt freshman guard Amandine Toi (Paris, France). Kylie Kornegay-Lucas (Camden, Del.) scored 11 points while freshman guard Carole Miller (Alexandria, Va.) contributed 10. NC State was led by a 15-point, 13-rebound performance by Elissa Cunane.
HOW IT HAPPENED
NC State used its hot long-range shooting to push out to a 14-7 lead, but six early points from Miller kept the game close and then narrowed the gap to 14-11. A fastbreak layup from senior guard Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) capped an 8-0 Virginia run and gave UVA a 15-14 lead with 4:22 remaining in the opening period. An and-one from Cunane halted the run and temporarily gave the Wolfpack the lead, but a layup from Miller with 1:44 left in the quarter put UVA ahead 21-19. Virginia struck first in the second quarter, with a layup from freshman guard Shemera Williams (Milwaukee, Wisc.) adding to the Cavaliers advantage, but the Wolfpack answered with an 8-0 run to take a 27-23 lead. A jumper from senior guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) ended the run, but the NC State’s hot outside shooting continued, including a trey from Kayla Jones at the halftime buzzer to push the advantage out to 46-32 at the break.
NC State used an 8-2 run early in the second half to build up a 20-point lead, but the Cavaliers countered with back-to-back threes from Toi followed by a three from Kornegay-Lucas to cut the deficit to 54-43. However, the Wolfpack built back up a 61-45 lead by the end of the quarter. The Cavaliers continued to battle in the fourth quarter. A three-pointer from Williams made it a 63-52 contest. Another three from Toi cut the deficit to 10, 65-55 with 5:26 remaining. An and-one from Kornegay-Lucas with 1:46 remaining got the Cavaliers within eight, 68-60, but NC State was fouled on its next possession, with Jones making one of two free throws. Cunane picked up the rebound on the second miss and got a put back layup to push the advantage to 71-60 heading into the final minute of play. NC State held on for the 11-point victory.
FROM HEAD COACH TINA THOMPSON
“Tough game for us. Very hard fought. I think that we played an overall-solid game. I think that we defended for the most part and executed offensively. In all my years, I have never been a part of a game, whether it was playing or coaching, where a team went 12-for-12 from the three-point line. And although they shot extremely well from the three point line, I always thought that we were still in the game. Very proud of our fight and just the fact that even though they were hot offensively, we still continued to play and we still continued to be ourselves. The momentum from this game, for sure, without a doubt believe that it is usable, how we played from start to finish is what we need to make noise in the tournament. The game did not end the way we wanted it to, but I am okay with where we are going into the tournament and think that we will be just fine. Proud of our kids and our effort.”
- Virginia finishes the regular-season in a tie with Notre Dame for ninth place in the ACC. By virtue of a tiebreaker (UVA’s victory over the Irish in the regular season), the Cavaliers will be the No. 9 seed in the tournament and will have a first round bye
- NC State started the game 13-of-13 from three-point range. The Wolfpack went 5-of-5 from three-point range in the first quarter and 7-of-7 in the second
- NC State was 14-of-22 (63.6 percent) for the game from three-point range. Virginia was 6-of-17 (35.3 percent)
- Virginia shot 40.4 percent (23-of-57) while NC shot 53.1 percent (26-of-49)
- NC State held a 33-29 edge in rebounding
- Carole Miller scored eight of her 10 points in the first quarter. She was 5-of-6 from the field for the game
- Seniors Jocelyn Willoughby, Dominique Toussaint, Lisa Jablonowski and Felicia Aiyeotan were honored in a pregame ceremony celebrating their final game on their home court
ON THE HORIZON
- The 2020 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament will take place from March 4-8 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.
- The bracket for the tournament will be announced sometime after 6 p.m. on Sunday evening (March 1)
- Ticket packages for the 2020 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, being held March 4-8 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., are on sale now through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office