DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 25 Virginia women’s basketball team (12-1, 1-1 ACC) suffered its first loss of the season, falling 70-56 at Duke (11-1, 1-0 ACC) on Wednesday (Dec. 21) at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.

Alexia Smith led the Cavaliers with a season-high 11 points. Sam Brunelle scored 10.

The loss snapped Virginia’s 12-game win streak, it’s longest since 1995.


Brunelle opened the game by hitting a three-pointer, followed by a layup from Camryn Taylor to give UVA an early 5-0 lead, but Duke answered with a 7-0 run, the first of three lead changes in the quarter. Ashlon Jackson hit a three-pointer for the Blue Devils to give them a 21-15 lead with 50.2 seconds left in the quarter, leading 21-17 heading into the second quarter.

Kaydan Lawson scored a fastbreak layup to pull within three, 24-21, with 6:56 remaining in the half. UVA would not make another field goal in the period until Carole Miller scored on a fastbreak with 27.2 seconds remaining. The Blue Devils used a 7-0 run to build a 31-21 lead. A three-pointer at the buzzer sent them into the locker room with a 38-26 lead.

The teams matched each other basket-for-basket to start the third quarter. The Cavaliers strung together five-straight points, flanked by layups from Mir McLean and London Clarkson, to cut the deficit to single digits, 46-37, with 4:09 remaining in the quarter, but Duke responded with back-to-back baskets. A three-pointer from Jackson with 9.4 seconds left in the quarter built the Duke lead to 53-39.

The Cavaliers again cut the deficit to single digits with a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter, with four points from Smith and three from Taylor Valladay, to make it 55-46 with 7:29 remaining. The Blue Devils did not make a basket in the quarter until Vanessa de Jesus hit a three with 5:09 remaining, pushing Duke back out to a 60-49 advantage. McKenna Dale hit a three-pointer with three minutes remaining in the game, but Duke quickly answered on the opposite end.


  • Virginia shot 32.1 percent (18-of-56). Duke shot 35.6 percent (21-of-59)
  • Duke held a 41-40 edge in rebounds
  • Duke blocked eight UVA shots
  • Alexia Smith is the seventh different Cavalier to lead the team in scoring in a game this season
  • Sam Brunelle was 7-of-8 from the free throw line, but went 1-of-6 from the field
  • Mir McLean scored 10 points with eight rebounds before fouling out with 8:08 remaining in the fourth quarter. Camryn Taylor also fouled out in the fourth quarter
  • The Blue Devils have won the last 16 meetings at Cameron Indoor. Virginia’s last win in Durham came on Feb. 19, 1997


Obviously, this was a disappointing loss, but I want to give credit to Kara Lawson and her team. I thought they played well. I thought they wanted it more than us tonight. They were very physical, defended our high level, which we expected, but I thought we made a lot of self-inflicted errors. If you lose a game and you die trying, that’s easier to walk away from then not giving your best effort. If we gave our best effort, stuck to the game plan, you know that 50/50 balls, and rebounded it like we should, then we walk away with a valiant effort with our head high, but I don’t think we did. We just weren’t in sync at all. We didn’t play as aggressive as I wanted us to play and together. That’s the biggest thing. I thought we were individuals out there. We only had five assists on the night, which is very uncharacteristic.”


  • The Cavaliers have an eight-day break for the holidays before returning to action by hosting Georgia Tech on Thursday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena