CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (3-12, 0-5 ACC) fell 61-52 at No. 20 North Carolina (15-2, 5-2 ACC) on Thursday (Jan. 20) at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The Cavaliers cut a once 17-point deficit down to six points, 58-52, with 42.3 seconds remaining, but could not complete the comeback.
Junior guard Taylor Valladay scored a career-high 18 points and matched her career-high in rebounds with eight. Sophomore guard Kaydan Lawson grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds.
Deja Kelly led North Carolina with 18 points. Kennedy Todd-Williams scored 15 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
North Carolina pulled out to an early 8-4 lead, but the Cavaliers used buckets from four different players, juniors Carole Miller, London Clarkson and Valladay and grad student center Eleah Parker, in a 1:48 span to pull ahead 12-8. UNC answered with an 8-0 run of its own, halted by a steal and fastbreak layup from Valladay with 35.2 seconds left in the quarter. UVA went into the second trailing 20-16, but the Tar Heels opened the low-scoring frame on a 10-2 run to build up a 30-18 advantage. Parker scored a putback basket with 2:07 remaining in the half, one of just two made field goals for the Cavaliers in the quarter. The Tar Heels, who went 3-of-16 from the field in the second, went into the break leading 32-20.
The Cavaliers kept pace with the Heels in the third period, with each team scoring 14 points until a layup made with 0.1 seconds left on the clock gave UNC a two-point edge in the quarter.
The Cavaliers mounted a rally in the fourth with a three-pointer and a jumper from grad student guard Amandine Toi followed by a free throw line jumper from Lawson narrowing the gap to single digits, 50-41, with 7:37 remaining. The Tar Heels converted an and-one on the opposite end to halt UVA’s run. The Cavaliers continued to battle with a second-chance jumper from Valladay building back up UVA’s momentum. Virginia trailed by 10, 55-45, with five minutes left in the game. Valladay pulled the Cavaliers again to within single digits when she made one free throw, missed her second, but stole the ball back from UNC after they had rebounded it, and made a quick jump shot to make it 55-48. UNC’s Carlie Littlefield hit a three-pointer with 2:46 remaining, the last field goal UNC would make. UVA chipped away with a turnaround jumper in the key from Valladay with 42.3 seconds remaining pulled the Cavaliers to within six, 58-52, but the Tar Heels went 3-of-4 from the free throw line down the stretch while the Cavaliers couldn’t convert on the offensive end as the Tar Heels held on for the victory.
FROM HEAD COACH TINA THOMPSON
“I think that we fought really hard. That second quarter kind of did us in. It was just really tough for us to score. I think that we defended well. We played against a high-power offensive team and definitely held them below their scoring average. Our kids fought. I’m proud of that. But, we have to put four quarters together in order to win in this league. We’re getting there. We’re growing with each outing. We’re definitely going to have to put four quarters together to get what we want out of this. And what we want is wins.”
- Virginia had more baskets than UNC, making 23 to North Carolina’s 19, but the Tar Heels were 18-of -25 from the free throw line while UVA was 4-of-10
- Virginia shot 33.3 percent (23-of-69); North Carolina shot 31.7 percent (19-of-60)
- Virginia held a 47-44 edge in rebounding
- Virginia went 2-of-25 from three-point range (8.0 percent); Amandine Toi made both threes, going 2-of-11
- Both teams combined to shoot 16.7 percent in the second quarter (5-of-30)
- Virginia led for 2:57. There were three ties and four lead changes in the first quarter
- Kaydan Lawson’s 14 rebounds were the highest single-game total by a Cavalier this season and just the third double-digit rebounding effort by a UVA player this season
- This was the second-straight game in which Taylor Valladay topped her previous career scoring mark after having a 16-point game on Tuesday at Virginia Tech
- Amandine Toi scored 10 points, the only other Cavalier who finished with double-digit points
ON THE HORIZON
- Virginia closes out its current road trip by playing at No. 21 Duke on Sunday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. It will be televised on the ACC Network
- The Cavaliers return home to host No. 19 Notre Dame on Tuesday, Jan. 25 in a rescheduled game