CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (1-5) suffered an 80-70 loss to Rhode Island (7-0) in the opening game of the Cavalier Classic tournament on Friday (Nov. 26) at John Paul Jones Arena.

The Cavaliers held a two-point lead at halftime, but Rhode Island used a 10-2 run to start the fourth quarter and built up an 18-point lead midway through the period. Virginia chipped away at the deficit, pulling to within seven with 53.4 seconds remaining and six within the final 15 seconds, but could not complete the comeback.

Junior forward Camryn Taylor led the Cavaliers with 22 points and six rebounds. Grad student guard Amandine Toi scored 17 points with three assists. Dez Elmore led the Rams with 22 points. Chanell Williams scored 19 points, with 14 coming at the free throw line.

The game was a homecoming for Rhode Island head coach Tammi Reiss, who was an All-American at Virginia, playing on UVA’s three Final Four teams. Rhode Island assistant coach Sharnee Zoll-Norman is also an alumna, graduating in 2008 as the Cavaliers’ all-time leader in assists. 


After the game opened with four lead changes in the first four minutes, Rhode Island went on a 12-2 run, including scoring nine straight points to take a 14-6 lead. A lay-in by Taylor ended the run, and a 5:30 Virginia scoring drought. The bucket also started an 8-0 UVA run with Parker tying the game on a layup with 11 seconds left in the period. Rhode Island made a pair of free throws to take a 16-14 lead into the second quarter.

After the two teams scored a combined four points in the first 3:45 of the second, both offenses found their footing. A steal from Eleah Parker fed a fastbreak by Toi to tie the game 20-20, the third tie of the game. After Rhode Island answered on the opposite end, sophomore guard Kaydan Lawson drained a three to put UVA ahead 23-22 with 4:53 remaining. A steal that led to a fastbreak and-one from Toi gave UVA a 28-22 advantage. The Rams chipped away at the deficit, tying the game at 33 at the free throw line with 29 seconds left in the half. A pair of free throws from junior point guard Taylor Valladay with 7.5 seconds remaining sent UVA into the break with a 35-33 edge.

Back-to-back layups from Elmore tied the game at 37, the fifth tie of the game, while a pair of Ram free throws were the sixth lead change of the game as the Rams pulled ahead 39-37. After the two teams traded threes, and leads, Rhode Island pushed out to a 44-40 lead. A three-pointer from grad student guard McKenna Dale pulled the Cavaliers to within one, 44-43, with 3:58 remaining in the third. The Rams used a hot-shooting stretch, making five baskets in seven attempts, to build up a 54-45 advantage. A second three from Dale cut the deficit to 54-48 with 26 seconds left in the quarter. Emmanuelle Tahane hit a layup at the buzzer to make it 56-48 heading into the fourth.

Rhode Island scored the first six points of the final frame and outscored the Cavaliers 12-2 in the first five minutes of the period to build up a 68-50 advantage. A three from the left corner from Toi halted the Rams’ run. Toi was fouled on a made layup. She missed the free throw, but Taylor grabbed the rebound and the put-back to narrow the gap to 68-57 with 4:19 remaining. A Taylor layup with 2:35 remaining extended the UVA run to 9-0 and pulled the Cavaliers to a single-digit deficit, 68-59, but Rhode Island made a pair of free throws on the opposite end to go back up by 11. A jumper from Valladay with 53.4 seconds remaining cut the deficit to 73-66. Taylor narrowed the gap to six, 76-70, with 17 seconds remaining, but Rhode Island made their free throws on the opposite end. The Rams held on for the 10-point victory


“To say this was a tough game for us this afternoon was an understatement. I mean, I’ve been a part of the game for a long time and played in a whole lot of games. I don’t think that I’ve ever been a part of a game where a team shoots more free throws than actual field goals attempted. In a game like that, it’s just gonna be very difficult for a team to find a rhythm as much as we try to adjust defensively. I am proud of the fact that my kids continued to fight. We just had a really tough battle in the sense that as physical as we are, and as much as we go inside, to have a 20 free throw deficit, it’s just I’ve just never seen it. I’m really disappointed.”


  • Virginia shot 44.6 percent (25-of-56); Rhode Island shot 48.8 percent (20-of-41)
  • Rhode Island held a 32-29 edge in rebounds
  • Rhode Island was 20-of-41 from the field and 35-of-44 from the free throw line
  • The game featured five ties and eight lead changes
  • Camryn Taylor has scored in double figures in five of six games this season. This was her second 20-point game of the year
  • Taylor was 9-of-18 from the field and 4-of-6 from the line
  • Amadine Toi was 7-of-13 from the field, including going 2-of-3 from three-point range
  • Taylor Valladay also scored in double figures for the Cavaliers with 10 points.
  • Valladay matched her season high with six assists


  • The Cavalier Classic tournament concludes on Sunday, Nov. 28. Long Beach State will play Rhode Island at 1 p.m. while Virginia will take on Richmond at 4 p.m.
  • The UVA/Richmond game will be televised on the ACC Network

Highlights vs. Rhode Island