WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (5-0, 1-0 ACC) closed out the week with a 74-60 victory at American (0-3, 0-0 Patriot) on Sunday (Nov. 20) at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C.
After holding a single-digit lead most of the game, the Cavaliers opened the fourth quarter on a 13-2 run to put the contest out of reach.
Senior guard Taylor Valladay led the Cavaliers in scoring with 19 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter. Mir McLean had her third career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Kayla Henning led American with 18 points.
This is Virginia’s first 5-0 start to the season since 2015-16.
HOW IT HAPPENED
American started the game hot, making five of its first six shots, including both of its three-point attempts, to take an early 12-11 lead. A three-pointer from Valladay gave the Cavaliers a 15-14 edge with 1:10 remaining in the period to put the Cavaliers ahead for good.
UVA went into the second period with a 20-16 edge and built up a 30-21 lead before a three-pointer from American stopped the charge. An and-one for the Eagles with 1:30 left in the first half pulled them to within four, 33-29. Sam Brunelle made a layup to start the final minute to give UVA a 35-29 lead, but American scored in the final seconds of the fame to make it 35-31 at the break.
After American twice cut the deficit to two points, UVA went on a 7-0 run, capped by a Carole Miller three-pointer to take a 46-37 lead with 6:12 remaining in the third. It would be the last field goal the Cavaliers would make until Valladay hit a layup with 27 seconds left in the quarter, but they managed to retain the lead by scoring at the free throw line, taking a 50-44 lead into the fourth quarter.
Cady Pauley hit a three-pointer to open the final period, building the lead back up to nine, 53-44. A Valladay layup gave UVA its first double-digit lead, 55-44, 45 seconds later. Valladay added two more buckets to extend UVA’s run to 9-0 and their lead to 59-44. UVA built up a 71-52 advantage with 3:20 remaining. American scored four points in the last minute of play to cut the final deficit to 14 points.
- Virginia shot 38.7 percent (29-of-75) while American went 24-of-53 (45.3 percent)
- The Cavaliers were 3-of-20 (15.0 percent) from three-point range. American started 2-of-2 from three but went 3-of-13 the rest of the contest
- Virginia held a 45-30 edge in rebounding
- All 11 UVA players scored in the game. It was the third time this season that every player scored. Eight Cavaliers scored in the first quarter.
- American is the reigning Patriot League champion and won last year’s meeting between the two teams at John Paul Jones Arena 69-56
- Sam Brunelle scored 13 points, giving the Cavaliers three players in double figures
- Taylor Valladay was 9-of018 from the field
FROM HEAD COACH AMAKA AGUGUA-HAMILTON
“Wins on the road matter. If you want to win in March, you want to win any championships, you have to be able to win on the road. That was a gutsy performance, but we didn’t really stick to the game plan. I thought we could have been better defensively and offensively we were taking some uncharacteristic shots. But when we locked in and started doing what we know we could do, then it started flowing, and we were good. All we can do is continue to get better. That’s why I say progresses the process but being 5-0 feels pretty good.”
ON THE HORIZON
- Virginia plays three home games Thanksgiving Week beginning with a game against Campbell on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m.
- Virginia hosts the Cavalier Classic tournament Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 26-27, facing Minnesota and East Carolina. UVA plays at 2 p.m. both days, with Liberty anchoring 5 p.m. games on both days
Highlights from the win at American