UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (9-0, 1-0 ACC) picked up an 89-68 victory against Penn State (7-1, 0-0 B1G) on Wednesday (Nov. 30) in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa.
Virginia opened the game on an 11-2 run and built up a 19-point lead early in the second quarter. Their largest lead was a 23-point advantage late in the fourth quarter.
Mir McLean scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. Camryn Taylor scored 17 points with six rebounds. Makenna Marisa led the Lady Lions with 16 points.
This is the Cavaliers’ first 9-0 start to a season since 1991 and their first nine-game win streak since the 2008-09 season. This is Virginia’s first victory in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge since 2012.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia held a 5-0 lead in the first minute, thanks partly to a game-opening three-pointer from Sam Brunelle. The Cavaliers extended the lead to 11-2 at the 5:55 mark on a layup from McLean. A three-pointer from McKenna Dale capped a 9-0 UVA run that gave the Cavaliers a 20-5 lead.
Yonta Vaughn extended UVA’s lead to 25-7 by opening the second quarter with a three-pointer. A jumper from the Lions 1:10 into the period ended a 6:48 field goal drought. Once the Nittany Lions found their stroke, they began chipping away at the deficit, mounting a 7-0 run and a 6-0 run to pull to within 11, 37-26, with 1:48 remaining. Vaughn hit her second three of the game in the final 30 seconds, giving UVA a 42-27 lead. A pair of free throws from McLean with 4.4 seconds remaining pushed the halftime advantage to 44-28.
Kaydan Lawson opened the second half by hitting Virginia’s sixth three-pointer of the game. The Cavaliers built up their first 20-point lead, 55-35, on a 6-0 run capped by a Carole Miller layup with 5:56 remaining in the period. The two teams traded points for the rest of the quarter, with the Cavaliers taking a 68-48 lead into the final 10 minutes of play.
Alexia Smith scored five-straight points in the final 1:09 of the game, hitting UVA’s ninth three-pointer followed by a fastbreak layup to give the Cavaliers their largest lead, 89-66. PSU’s Alli Campbell made a layup with 21 seconds remaining in the game to cut the advantage to 21.
- Virginia shot 49.3 percent (33-of-67). Penn State shot 41.3 percent (26-of-63)
- Penn State shot 13.3 percent in the first quarter (2-of-15). Virginia started the game making six of its first 10 shots
- Virginia was 9-of-25 from three and Penn State was 9-of-23
- Virginia was 14-of-17 from the free throw line, starting the game 11-of-11 from the stripe
- Mir McLean had 13 points and 8 rebounds in the first half
- This is McLean’s fourth double-double of the season and third consecutive
- This was McLean’s second-career 20-point game. Her previous career high for points was 20 last season against Syracuse
- Camryn Taylor was 7-of-9 shooting from the field
- Virginia is 6-8 all-time in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games
- This is the last year of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. It will be replaced next year with the ACC/SEC Challenge
FROM HEAD COACH AMAKA AGUGUA-HAMILTON
“I’m just very proud of our players. This was a gritty, tough win for us and to go on the road and perform the way we did was just really impressive. I thought we moved the ball well. We shared the ball. We played together defensively. We played pretty good. And this is just the beginning. So I’m just excited.”
ON THE HORIZON
- Virginia returns home to host UNCW on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. in the team’s final home contest before breaking for finals
Highlights at Penn State