WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (3-6) picked up a 62-53 road victory at George Washington (5-4) on Sunday (Dec. 5) at the Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, D.C.
The Cavaliers trailed by six midway through the second quarter, but closed out the half on a 9-0 run to lead 31-28 at the break. The Cavaliers built up an 11-point lead in the third quarter, an advantage they also held with 7:47 remaining in the game. The Colonials cut the deficit to three points, 56-53, with 4:11 remaining, but the Cavaliers scored the final six points of the game to pick up the road win.
Grad student guard Amandine Toi led the Cavaliers with 14 points, including a key three-pointer with three minutes remaining. Junior point guard Taylor Valladay scored a career-high 13 points. Sophomore guard Kaydan Lawson came off the bench to score 10 points with a team-high eight rebounds.
Nya Lok led the Colonials with 26 points, going 10-of-17 from the field.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a quiet start to the game in which the two teams combined for six points in the first 5:50, the Colonials pushed out to a 7-2 lead. Three-pointers from Toi and junior guard Carole Miller pulled UVA to within one. Back-to-back jumpers from junior forward Camryn Taylor gave UVA a 12-9 lead with 1:38 left in the quarter. GW hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to take a 16-14 lead and hit another thirty seconds into the second quarter to make it 19-14. The Colonials held a 28-22 advantage with 4:12 left in the half. A pair of free throws by grad student guard McKenna Dale started to chip away at the deficit. A steal and fastbreak layup from Miller followed by a putback layup on UVA’s next possession tied the game at 28 with 3:06 remaining. UVA went 3-of-4 from the line the remainder of the half while holding GW scoreless to go into the break with a 31-28 lead.
The Colonials ended their scoring drought with a bucket from Lok 40 seconds into the second half. A three-pointer from Taylor followed by a jumper from Miller and a layup from Lawson extended UVA’s lead to 40-31. A three-pointer from Lok kept the Cavaliers from extending their advantage to double figures. The Cavaliers finally hit the benchmark with a pair of free throws by Valladay with 30 seconds left in the quarter to give UVA a 48-37 lead.
The Cavaliers and Colonials traded baskets in the first half of the fourth quarter until a three from Aurea Gingras cut the UVA lead to 56-49. After Taylor was called for a technical foul, GW used the free throws to narrow the gap to five. A jumper with just over four minutes remaining made it a three-point game, 56-53. Toi hit a deep three pointer with 2:54 remaining to end the Colonial run. Both teams traded misses and turnovers until Lawson made a layup with 2:24 remaining to extend the lead to 61-53. Lawson added a free throw with 44 seconds remaining to put the final score at 62-53.
The Colonials did not score for the final 4:11 of the contest.
FROM HEAD COACH TINA THOMPSON
“This was a good one for us, a team win. We faced adversity, a lot of it, throughout the game, but we showed resistance and that’s kind of what we’ve been talking about and working on throughout practice. In those games early on, once there was a little adversity we were kind of folding a little bit or giving in more than anything. We’re learning who we are as a team and our personality is kind of showing through. We’re defensive minded. We are okay with being blue collar and grinding it out. That’s what we tell our kids all the time. If we’re having trouble scoring offensively, as long as we’re not allowing them to score, then we’re giving ourselves a chance. They’re starting to buy into that identity, which is great. From a staff perspective, we feel like that should come so easy and so natural to them. There’s a toughness about them that they kind of have to tap into consistently and we can do that. When we can do that, we give ourselves a chance.
“Mayowa Taiwo for them, she was so physical and she was on the offensive boards a lot. So we sent Deja [Bristol] in there. She is strong. She has a great body and she can use that to our advantage. She was ready and that’s what we asked our bench to be all the time. To stay ready so that they don’t have to get ready in the course of the game. And Aaliyah [Pitts] the same way. She came in made an impact right away. And it’s going to be like that sometimes until we get to the point where we’re making better decisions at the end of plays defensively and not fouling. We’re gonna have to go to our bench and that’s okay. McKenna [Dale] came in and she gave us some great minutes as well. Like I said early on, this was a team win and everyone contributed in a way whether they got in the game or not. You could hear the voices from the bench cheering and the encouraging one another. As a staff is something that we appreciate seeing.”
- Virginia shot 48.9 percent (23-of-47); GW shot 42.6 percent (20-of-47)
- The Colonials held a 34-25 edge in rebounding. GW outrebounded UVA 15-2 in the first 12 minutes of the game
- George Washington was 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) from the free throw line after starting the game 1-of-9 to start game. UVA started the game making 1-of-5 and finished at 11-of-21 (52.4 percent)
- Virginia outscored GW 28-14 in the paint
- There were six lead changes and two ties. GW’s largest lead was six points in the second quarter
- This was the Cavaliers’ third game in 10 days against an Atlantic 10 opponent after playing Rhode Island and Richmond Thanksgiving weekend
ON THE HORIZON
- Virginia returns home to host another school from the District, American, on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.
- The Cavaliers will take an 11-day break for final exams after the American game, returning to action on Sunday, Dec. 19 with their ACC opener at NC State
Highlights at George Washington