BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (3-11, 0-4 ACC) suffered a 69-52 loss at Virginia Tech (13-4, 5-1 ACC) in a Smithfield Commonwealth Clash game on Tuesday (Jan. 18) at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.
Virginia Tech took advantage of a second-quarter scoring drought by the Cavaliers to turn a one-point game into a double-digit lead. Virginia was not able to mount a long enough run to overcome the deficit.
The Cavaliers had three players finish the game in doubles figures. Junior guard Taylor Valladay scored a career-high 16 points. Grad student guard Amandine Toi scored 15 points. Grad student center Eleah Parker scored 12 points with six rebounds and three blocked shots.
Elizabeth Kitley led the Hokies with 24 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Toi scored the first basket of the game, draining a three-pointer, but the Hokies answered with an 11-2 run. Toi pulled up for a jumper with seven seconds remaining in the first quarter to cut the Cavalier deficit to 15-12 heading into the second. Toi went on a personal 5-0 run early in the second quarter, hitting a three-pointer and then stealing the ball on the Hokies’ ensuing possession to make a fastbreak layup on the other end, to pull the Cavaliers to within one, 20-19, with 7:55 remaining. After two scoreless minutes by both teams, the Hokies hit a jumper to go up 22-19. Virginia, however, would not hit another field goal in the quarter, going 0-of-9 from the field for the remainder to go into the break trailing 31-21, their lone score in the final seven minutes a pair of free throws from Valladay with 4.9 seconds remaining.
Virginia Tech built up a 35-23 lead in the third quarter before the Cavaliers began to rally. Toi started things off with a jumper, followed by a free throw from Valladay. Valladay was fouled on a driving layup on the next UVA possession, making the basket and the free throw to cut the deficit to six points, 35-29, with 7:28 remaining. The Hokies built up a 46-35 advantage in the final minute of the period. Junior guard Carole Miller hit a three-pointer off an inbounds pass with 0.6 seconds left on the clock, but the basket was waived off after video review.
The Cavaliers and the Hokies traded baskets in the fourth quarter, with the Hokies building up a 16-point lead with 7:56 remaining in the game, but a three-pointer from junior guard Carole Miller, a layup from Parker and a pair of free throws from Valladay made it a 10-point game with 5:16 remaining, but the Cavaliers could not further narrow the gap. The Hokies went on a 5-1 run to end the game and finish with the 17-point victory.
FROM HEAD COACH TINA THOMPSON
“I’m proud of our effort tonight. Although we had some miscues at times, like defensively, we continue to stay in it and try to impose pressure offensively and defensively. We’re in a place where we’ve experienced a lot in the last couple of weeks and the next couple of weeks are not going to be any different. But our goal is to continue to show up and continue to compete.
“Anytime that you have a 6-6 sitting in the key, that doesn’t necessarily make it easy. They were 23-of-60. We were 18-of-50. Those shooting nights are not too different. They made a couple of more free throws, but the difference in the game, in my opinion, was three-point shots. They made a few more than we did and on occasion, some second-chance points.
“It was the timing of the three-point shots that they made. They were just very timely shots that put a little bit more space in between them and ourselves and in regards to the score. But 7-of-22. I think that we guarded the three-point line very well. It’s just that the timing of when they made them that was kind of heartbreakers.”
- Virginia shot 36.0 percent (18-of-50) while Virginia Tech shot 38.3 percent (23-of-60)
- Virginia Tech held a slight edge in rebounding, 36-34
- Virginia was 3-of-8 from three-point range while Virginia Tech went 7-of-22 (31.8 percent)
- Amandine Toi scored 10 of her points in the first half
- Taylor Valladay scored 10 of her points at the free throw line, going 10-of-13 from the stripe
- Valladay’s previous career high was a 13-point performance at George Washington (12/5/21)
- Eleah Parker was 6-of-12 shooting
- Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley scored 10 of her points in the first quarter
- The Smithfield Commonwealth Clash, originally called the Commonwealth Challenge (2005-2007), has been a part of the UVA-Virginia Tech rivalry since 2014. It was an all-sports points-based program with the Commonwealth
- Clash trophy presented to the winning school each year for its dominance in head-to-head competitions. With the half point from today’s game, the Hokies lead 3.5-1.5
- The two teams will play one another again next week on Thursday, Jan. 27 in Charlottesville
- Junior forward Camryn Taylor did not dress for the game
ON THE HORIZON
- Virginia has two more road games this week, playing at No. 20 North Carolina on Thursday, Jan. 20 and at No. 21 Duke on Sunday, Jan. 23. Both games tip at 6 p.m. with the latter being televised on the ACC Network
- The Cavaliers return home to host No. 19 Notre Dame on Tuesday, Jan. 25 in another rescheduled game