CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. – For the second time in three outings, the Virginia women’s basketball team (14-5, 3-5 ACC) lost a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter resulting in a home loss at John Paul Jones Arena. Florida State benefited from poor fourth-quarter shooting by the Cavaliers to rally for a 77-68 victory to improve to 17-4 and 6-2 in ACC play on Thursday night (Jan. 19).
Trailing by 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter, the Seminoles improved their road record to 6-1 by outscoring UVA 27-8 over the final 10 minutes.
Camryn Taylor led all scorers with 18 points while Sam Brunelle and London Clarkson added 11 points each for Virginia. Florida State’s Ta’Niya Latson and Sara Bejedi topped the Seminoles with 15 points apiece. Latson came into the contest as the ACC’s top scorer, averaging 24.3 points per contest.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia jumped out to an early lead in the contest when Taylor made back-to-back baskets to give UVA a 6-2 lead that the Cavaliers built to an 11-5 advantage on a pull-up jumper by Clarkson at the 5:28 mark. Florida State responded with a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to build a 15-11 lead. The Cavaliers managed to close the gap to a single point at 17-16 when Yonta Vaught stole the ball and hit a three-pointer as time expired in the opening quarter.
UVA used back-to-back three-point shots by Brunelle and Vaughn to take a 22-19 lead just two minutes into the second quarter. The two teams battled back and fourth with neither team leading by more than three points the remainder of the period before the Seminoles went to the locker room at halftime leading 38-37.
The Seminoles scored 24 points in the paint during the opening half and were aggressive on the boards, scoring nine second-chance points.
Virginia exploded in the third quarter, outscoring FSU 23-12, to grab a 60-50 lead. The Cavaliers switched to a zone defense that shut down the Seminoles inside scoring game and Florida State went cold from the field, making just three of 17 field goal attempts during the period, including a stretch of 12 consecutive misses over a six-minute span. UVA took advantage of Florida State’s poor shooting to go on a 17-1 run and lead 60-47 before FSU’s O’Mariah Gordon’s three-point shot with nine seconds left in the quarter.
Taylor keyed the Cavaliers during the third quarter, scoring 10 points.
The two teams did a complete flip in terms of performance in the fourth quarter. It was FSU that clicked on offense, outscoring the Hoos 27-8 as UVA suffered through a crushing scoring drought. After Taylor made a layup to put the Cavaliers up 62-50, UVA did not score again for six minutes, allowing the Seminoles to reel off 18 unanswered points.
A pair of free throws by McKenna Dale closed the gap to 68-64 with 3:24 to play, but six straight points by FSU senior guard Bejedi put the game out of reach over the next two minutes. UVA finished the contest making just one of 14 shots from the field, which came when Taylor grabbed an offensive rebound and scored in close with just 22 seconds left to play. The game had a long delay prior to Dale’s free throws when Brunelle was tangled by Bejedi on UVA’s offensive end of the court. Following a video review, the game officials issued a “fighting foul” to Burnelle for when she attempted to become untangled with the Seminoles guard who had locked legs with her while lying on the court. Burnelle was ejected from the game following the ruling.
- There were 12 ties and 10 lead changes
- Virginia shot 41.5 percent (27-of-65). Florida State shot 35.8 percent (24-of-67)
- Florida State held a 42-41 edge in rebounding
- Virginia had a season-high 13 blocks during the game while Florida State had nine. The Seminoles entered the contest ranked second nationally in blocked shots with 128. UVA now has 93 blocked shots this season.
- Florida State’s 77 points matched its second lowest scoring output this year. The Seminoles entered the game fourth in the NCAA with a scoring average of 86.9 points per game. That included an average of 85.6 points in ACC play.
- UVA was 7-8 from the free throw line making the Hoos 34-36 from the charity stripe over their last two games.
- Sam Brunelle hit three three-point field goals during the game. She has now scored a three-point shot in 17 of 19 games this season.
- Brunelle blocked a career-high five shots.
- Camryn Taylor ended the game with 999 career points.
- Taylor had 10 rebounds to go with her 18 points for her second double-double of the season.
FROM HEAD COACH AMAKA AGUGUA-HAMILTON
“Obviously, this was very disappointing. This game was almost identical to the North Carolina game in terms of the point spread and things like that, but that just hurts a little bit because I thought we made some strides, finishing games and coming together at the end against Boston College. I think we have to take care of some of the self-inflicted errors. I told the team this is the third game, I believe, in a row that we’ve had over 20 turnovers and we just can’t win games like that, can’t have over 20 turnovers or get outrebounded, even if it is by one, and give up 77 points, so we have got to get better. We’re not quite there yet, but we’ve made huge strides. I’m proud of the strides we’ve made, but these ones kind of just really sting because we could have closed that out.”
ON THE HORIZON
- Virginia will play its first road game since Jan. 8 when the Cavaliers travel to Notre Dame on Sunday, Jan. 22 for a 2 p.m. tip-off that will be televised by the ACC Network.