BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (13-2, 2-2 ACC) suffered a 74-66 loss at No. 9 Virginia Tech (13-2, 3-2 ACC) on Thursday (Jan. 4) in a Smithfield Commonwealth Clash game.
The teams were tied 32-32 at the half, but the Hokies built up an eight-point lead in the third quarter and held on for the victory.
Camryn Taylor led the Cavaliers with 18 points. Mir McLean and Sam Brunelle scored 11 apiece. Carole Miller matched her career high with nine rebounds. George Amoore led the Hokies with 22 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Yonta Vaughn started a 6-0 first-quarter run for the Cavaliers by making a hook shot and then stealing an inbounds pass that led to a basket and an early 10-6 advantage. A three-pointer from McLean extended the lead to 13-8, but the Hokies went on a 9-0 run to go ahead 17-13. A three-pointer from Taylor Valladay with 53 seconds remaining in the quarter pulled the Cavaliers to within one, 17-16.
A layup from Taylor with 5:04 left in the half put the Cavaliers ahead, 22-21, the fourth lead change of the game. Virginia Tech answered with a quick three on the opposite end. A jumper from Brunelle followed by back-to-back and-ones from Taylor gave UVA an 8-0 run in a 1:02 span to make it 30-24. The Hokies chipped away at the deficit, tying the game 32-32 on a pair of free throws with 45.7 seconds left in the half. The game went into the break with that same score.
A pair of three pointers early in the second half built the Hokies’ lead up to 42-36. An and-one from Carole Miller cut the deficit to 44-39 with a three-pointer from Cady Pauley pulling the Cavaliers to within four, 46-42. UVA trailed 48-45 until Amoore drained a three-pointer with 4.2 seconds remaining in the quarter to make it 51-45.
The Cavaliers and Hokies matched each other point-for-point through the first six minutes of the final period. A layup from Taylor made it a five-point game, 67-62, with just under three minutes left to play. She added another layup with 2:13 remaining to narrow the gap to 67-64, but Amoore hit her fourth three of the game on the next possession to push the lead back out to 70-64 with less than two minutes remaining. The Hokies went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 90 seconds to close out the win.
- Virginia shot 43.8 percent (28-of-64); Virginia Tech shot 41.9 percent (26-of-62)
- Virginia was 4-of-17 from three-point range; The Hokies were 2-of-11 from three-point range in the first half but went 6-of-14 in the second half
- Virginia held a 37-35 edge in rebounding
- There were six ties and six lead changes in the first half, but after the Hokies scored the first basket of the second half, they kept the lead the rest of the game
- Virginia Tech scored 11 of their 17 first-quarter points off turnovers
- Carole Miller’s nine rebounds was a season high and matched her career high
- 2022 ACC Player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley, the Hokies’ leading scorer and rebounder, did not dress for the game
FROM HEAD COACH AMAKA AGUGUA-HAMILTON
“I guess we are always disappointed after a loss. But I thought Virginia Tech was a better team today. They faced a lot of adversity, had some kids out. And some kids stepped up. I didn’t think that we completely executed the game plan, which is frustrating but at the end of the day, it’s an opportunity for us to learn and grow and get to that level.”
“I don’t think we defended very well. I mean, we gave up 74 points. That’s a lot. We did outrebound them by two, but that third quarter was huge for them. And I don’t think we really stuck to the game plan and clogged the driving lanes like we wanted to. Offensively, they kind of made us a little bit stagnant when they went zone. We’ve seen a lot of zone this year and we’ve shredded zone. So I was a little bit surprised to see us get rattled by that. But at the end of the day, it’s just an opportunity to grow and learn. We know this is the best conference in the country. So every game is going to be like this. Every game is going to be competitive. They’ve got to bring their A game every day.”
SMITHFIELD COMMONWEALTH CLASH
- The rivalry between Virginia Athletics and Virginia Tech Athletics has a long and storied history dating back more than 125 years within the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Cavaliers and Hokies first faced off on the gridiron in Charlottesville in 1895. First coined the Commonwealth Clash during the 2014-2015 season, the rivalry has expanded and intensified across the 22 sports the two institutions face off in head-to-head competition
- Virginia Teach earned 0.5 points for the win. Another half point will be awarded to the winner of the January 29th meeting in Charlottesville
- Virginia leads this year’s clash 4.5-1.0
ON THE HORIZON
- The Cavaliers close out the road trip on Sunday, Jan. 8 with a 3 p.m. game at No. 10 NC State. That game will be televised on the ACC Regional Sports Networks
- Virginia returns home to host No. 22 North Carolina on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.