CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (4-21, 1-14 ACC) picked up a 67-54 victory against Duke (15-10, 6-9 ACC) on Thursday (Feb. 17) at John Paul Jones Arena.
Duke scored the first basket of the game, its only lead, as the Cavaliers led by 10 at halftime and built up a 13-point lead in the third quarter. The Cavaliers went 9-of-11 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to seal their first conference victory of the season.
Grad student guard Amandine Toi scored 21 points to lead the Cavaliers, one of four UVA players to finish the game with double-digit points. Sophomore guard Mir McLean had a double-double with 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
Celeste Taylor led the Blue Devils with 11 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia built up a 14-7 lead in the first quarter after scoring six points in a span of 1:05 on a pair of baskets from junior forward London Clarkson sandwiching a jumper from junior guard Taylor Valladay. Duke ended a 3:49 scoring drought with a free throw with 2:54 remaining in the quarter, but a three-pointer from Toi pushed the Virginia advantage out to 17-8 with 2:50 remaining. The Cavaliers held a 19-14 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Duke struggled to score in the second quarter, not making a field goal for the first 3:51 of the period. Virginia continued building on its lead with a layup from sophomore forward Deja Bristol giving the team its first double-digit lead, 25-15. After the Blue Devils cut it back to six, a layup from grad student center Eleah Parker followed by a fastbreak lay-in by Toi pushed it back out to 10. A three-pointer from Toi made it 36-25 with 54 seconds left. Toi added her 16th points of the half on a layup 25 seconds later. Duke hit its first three-pointer of the game with one second left on the clock to go into the break trailing 38-28.
Both teams got off to slow starts to start the second half, with Duke scoring its first basket with 7:32 remaining in the third quarter and Virginia a full minute later on a layup from McLean. Once the offenses reignited, the two teams traded scores midway through the period. A three-pointer from Toi with 2:26 remaining started a 10-2 run that was capped by a three-pointer at the buzzer from grad student guard McKenna Dale that gave UVA a 52-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Duke opened the fourth quarter on an 8-2 run, but an and-one from Valladay put the Cavaliers back up by 13, 57-44 with 5:48 remaining. The Cavaliers held a 10-point lead heading into the final two minutes of play and that same advantage heading into the final 51 seconds. Duke had the ball with 38.2 seconds left, taking a shot that was blocked by McLean. She grabbed the rebound and was fouled, sending her to the line where she made both free throws. McLean drew an offensive foul with 34.1 seconds remaining to give the ball back to the Cavaliers. Valladay was fouled, going to the line to make both of her free throws. Duke hit a three-pointer with 29 seconds left to make it 65-54, but McLean closed out the game and the victory with another two free throws.
FROM HEAD COACH TINA THOMPSON
“I’m extremely proud of our kids. We come in here after every game all season and talk about what we could do better. The one thing that I’ve always said is that we’re going to continue to show up, and they’re going to continue to show up, and they’re going to work. They did that tonight. We were always talking about putting a full game together, and putting several or all four quarters together, and starting a certain way, and finishing a certain way. We started the game with high energy, and we were really aggressive, and we carried that throughout the game. Duke is a really good team. We knew that at some point they were going to try to make a run or make a push and when they did, we did not fall apart. That’s what we’ve been talking about all season, keeping our composure and responding and we did a great job of responding tonight.”
- Virginia shot 43.4 percent (23-of-53); Duke shot 33.9 percent (19-of-56)
- Virginia held a 39-36 edge in rebounding
- Duke went 0-of-9 from three-point range to start the game, hitting its first three in the final second of the first half. For the game, they shot 13.6 percent (3-of-22) from three-point range
- The two teams were a combined 2-of-14 shooting in the first five minutes of the third quarter
- The victory snapped a 14-game losing streak for the Cavaliers
- This was Virginia’s first ACC victory since downing Pitt 66-55 on Feb. 27, 2020
- Amandine Toi had 16 points in the first half, going 6-of-7 from the field. She finished the game 7-of-9 shooting
- Mir McLean blocked three shots and also grabbed three steals
- Taylor Valladay scored 11 points. London Clarkson scored 12
ON THE HORIZON
- Virginia takes on Pitt (11-15, 2-13 ACC) on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. The game will air on the ACC Network
Highlights vs Duke