CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (3-18, 0-11 ACC) suffered a 77-70 loss against Syracuse (10-12, 3-9 ACC) on Tuesday (Feb. 8) at John Paul Jones Arena.
Syracuse used its long-range shooting to jump out to an early lead and opened the second half on a 13-3 run to solidify it. The Cavaliers chipped away at a once 19-point deficit, getting it down to eight with 8:42 remaining in the game, but the Orange built back up a 17-point lead with a minute left to play. UVA scored 12 points in the final 60 seconds of the game, cutting the deficit back down to singles digits, but the Orange held on for the victory.
Sophomore guard Mir McLean scored a career-high 20 points with grad student guard Amandine Toi contributing 18. Junior guard Taylor Valladay had a career-high 10 assists.
Naje Murray led the Orange with 24 points, going 8-of-11 overall and 5-of-7 from three-point range. Teisha Hyman scored 13 points with 8 rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Syracuse hit three three-pointers in the first four minutes of the game to jump out to an early 11-5 lead. A jumper from Valladay ended a nearly five-minute field goal drought for the Cavaliers, making it 13-8. A three-pointer by Murray at the buzzer gave the Orange a 22-12 lead heading into the second quarter. Syracuse converted its first two field goal attempts of the second quarter to extend its lead to 26-12. Virginia’s offense heated up with back-to-back threes from grad student guards Toi and McKenna Dale making it 30-22. A layup from McLean cut the deficit to 30-24 with 2:04 left in the half. Syracuse ended a six-minute scoring drought and an 0-of-8 shooting spell with a jumper with 43.3 seconds left in the quarter. After a layup from grad student center Eleah Parker, Syracuse closed out the half by making a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining to go into the break with a 35-26 lead.
Syracuse came out of the locker room hot, making their first three field goal attempts of the third quarter, including a pair of threes, to push out to a 44-29 lead with 8:01 remaining. McLean ended an 11-0 run by the Orange with a jumper at the 6:10 mark. A runner by sophomore guard Kaydan Lawson ended a two and a half minute scoring drought by the Cavaliers, making it a 50-37 game with 2:15 remaining in the period. A three-pointer from Dale with 44.9 seconds cut the deficit to 12, 52-40.
Back-to-back threes from Toi narrowed the gap to 10 points, 56-46, with 8:42 remaining in the game. A layup from junior forward London Clarkson narrowed the gap to single digits, 56-48, with 7:08 remaining, but Syracuse hit a jumper on the opposite end to halt the Virginia run. The Cavaliers trailed by 10 points heading into the final four minutes of the game and by 12 heading into the final two, but Syracuse used six free throws to build up a 71-54 lead with a minute left in the game. Virginia scored five points in a three-second span, with a three-pointer from sophomore guard Kaydan Lawson followed by a steal and a layup from Valladay with 47 seconds left. Toi hit a three-pointer with 29.6 seconds remaining. UVA again stole the ball with McLean getting a layup to make it 73-64 with 27.6 seconds remaining. The game ended with UVA trailing 77-68, however Syracuse was assessed with a technical foul after the game ended, sending Toi to the line for two free throws to put the final at 77-70.
FROM HEAD COACH TINA THOMPSON
- Virginia shot 48.1 percent (26-of-54); Syracuse shot 38.6 percent (22-of-57)
- Virginia held a 33-31 edge in rebounding
- Syracuse went 7-of-26 from three-point range (26.9 percent), Virginia went 7-of-16 (43.8 percent)
- Syracuse’s largest lead was 19, 48-29, at 6:36 in the third quarter
- Taylor Valladay had seven assists in the first half. Her previous career high was six which she reached three times this season
- Valladay’s 10 assists were the first double-digit assist performance by a Cavalier since Kylie Kornegay-Lucas had 10 against Notre Dame on Jan. 26, 2020
- Amandine Toi was 4-of-8 from three-point range
- McLean was 8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line
- Kaydan Lawson and McKenna Dale led UVA in rebounding with six apiece
- Syracuse’s Naje Murray scored 13 of her points in the first quarter
- This game was originally scheduled to be played on Jan. 16 but was postponed because of snow
ON THE HORIZON
- Virginia has two road games this week, playing at No. 3 Louisville (20-2, 11-1 ACC) on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Yum! Center and closing the week at Wake Forest (12-11, 2-10 ACC) on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 4 p.m. at the LJVM Coliseum
- The Cavaliers return home to host Miami (12-9, 5-6 ACC) on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m., the first of four-straight home games to close out the regular season
Highlights vs Syracuse