CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (0-2) erased a 20-point deficit, but was edged 54-51 by East Carolina (1-1) on Sunday (Nov. 29) at John Paul Jones Arena.

East Carolina held a 22-2 lead early in the second quarter, but the Cavaliers came back to tie the game, 51-51, with 16 second remaining. The Pirates’ Justice Gee hit the game-winning three-pointer with 6.6 seconds remaining.

Sophomore forward Meg Jefferson (Sydney, Australia) led the Cavaliers in scoring for the second-straight game, with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. She also paced the team in rebounds with eight. Redshirt sophomore guard Amandine Toi (Paris, France) scored 12 points. Taniyah Thompson led ECU with 19 points. Tiara Chambers had a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

HOW IT HAPPENED

After starting the game 0-6 shooting, East Carolina made five of its next six shot attempts to build up a 16-0 lead. Freshman forward Deja Bristol (Upper Marlboro, Md.) ended a nine-minute UVA scoring drought by making a layup with 59 seconds left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Virginia went on a 9-2 run midway through the period, including four-straight points from freshman guard Kaydan Lawson (Cleveland, Ohio), to make it a 27-13 game. Virginia trailed 32-15 at the half.

The Cavaliers rallied in the second half with Jefferson scoring UVA’s first six points of the third quarter. It was a 10-0 run, fueled by three-pointers from redshirt sophomore guard Amandine Toi (Paris, France) sandwiching an and-one from grad student Emily Maupin (Charlottesville, Va.) that pulled the team to within five, 37-32, with 2:52 remaining in the period.

Virginia continued chipping away in the fourth quarter with back-to-back buckets from sophomore guard Carole Miller (Alexandria, Va.) and Toi moving the Cavaliers to within two, 44-42, with 6:50 remaining. ECU pushed back out to a five-point lead with three minutes left in the game, but UVA kept working with three points from Toi again making it a two-point game. Freshman guard Kaydan Lawson (Cleveland, Ohio) erased the remaining deficit by drawing a foul and then converting a pair of free throws with 16 seconds remaining. Gee hit the three-pointer with 6.6 seconds remaining. ECU played solid defense in the final moments, with UVA tossing up a contested three-point attempt in the final seconds that was off the mark.

FROM HEAD COACH TINA THOMPSON

“We were able to come back, or just kind of settle ourselves in the second quarter, but that first quarter was brutal for us. I would probably say the best word is that we panicked a little bit, you know, just with their pressure and just kind of got out of the personality of who we are, and they sped us up a lot so we turned the ball over a lot in the first quarter. We just didn’t get an opportunity to execute.”

NOTES

  • Emily Maupin made her UVA debut by checking in with 8:16 remaining in the first half. She is the fifth player to make their Virginia debut in the first two games. She finished the game with five points, six rebounds
  • Virginia was 1-of-11 (9.1 percent) in the first quarter but went 17-of-34 (50.0 percent) the rest of the game
  • ECU had a 40-37 edge in rebounding
  • Virginia had 25 turnovers; ECU 20
  • Carole Miller had eight points, seven rebounds, four steals and four assists
  • The Pirates’ head coach Kim McNeill was a member of Joanne Boyle’s staff at Virginia for five seasons (2011-16), being elevated to associate head coach in 2013
  • Pirates’ associate head coach Cory McNeill also was an assistant coach at UVA in that same time span

ON THE HORIZON

  • Virginia remains at home to host James Madison (1-0) on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena

 

Video highlights from the Cavaliers home opener against ECU

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