NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Playing its third consecutive road game against a top-10 opponent, the Virginia women’s basketball team (14-6, 3-6 ACC) lost 76-54 at No. 7 Notre Dame (16-2, 7-1) on Sunday (Jan. 22) at Purcell Pavilion.
Notre Dame broke the game open early, using a 14-0 run to establish an 18-4 lead in the first quarter, building up a 20-point advantage in the third quarter.
Notre Dame had four players score in double figures, led by sophomore guard Sonia Citron’s 20-point outing. She finished with a career-high six three-pointers and also pulled down nine rebounds.
Camryn Taylor was the lone Cavalier to reach double figures, scoring a team-high 13 points. Freshman point guard Yonta Vaughn made her first career start,
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame broke the game open early, using a 14-0 run to establish an 18-4 lead. The Cavaliers missed 10 consecutive field goals attempts during the quarter and turned the ball over eight times.
UVA’s guard-oriented lineup struggled against Notre Dame’s zone defense and big lineup. At times the Irish had four players at least 6-1 on floor which helped Notre Dame block three first-quarter shots when the Cavaliers attempted to drive to the basket. The Irish finished the game with eight total blocks.
An outside jump shot from Taylor and a three-point field goal by Cady Pauley in the quarter’s final minute allowed the Cavaliers to close to 18-9.
A London Clarkson layup followed by a three-pointer by Vaughn at the 6:19 mark of the second quarter trimmed Notre Dame’s lead to 22-15. At that point, the Irish splashed a trio of three-point shots, capped by Cassandre Prosper’s bucket at 3:44, to double its lead to 31-17.
Citron had the hot hand for the Irish during the quarter, scoring eight points, including a pair of three-pointers against UVA’s zone defense. She finished the half with 11 points.
Thanks to a 14-4 scoring advantage in the paint, Notre Dame carried a 35-23 lead into halftime.
Virginia could not chip away at the Irish advantage in the third quarter. Forward Lauren Ebo scored on a three-point play in the paint, forward Kylee Watson drove the lane for a score and Citron hit her fourth straight three-pointer to put Notre Dame up 45-25 at the 7:27 mark of the quarter.
Notre Dame outscored the Cavaliers 29-19 in the third quarter as Olivia Miles scored seven points. The Irish hit three of four three-point shots, including one by Miles, to end the quarter and give Notre Dame a 64-42 lead as it cruised to the win.
A bright spot for Virginia during the second half was the play of guard Taylor Valladay who came off of the bench and contributed nine points in 22 minutes of play.
Notre Dame finished the game shooting 50 percent from the field and hit eight of 20 three-pointers, led by Citron’s six-for-seven performance from beyond the arc.
- Virginia was without forward Sam Brunelle who was incurred a one-game suspension after being issued a “fighting foul” in the Cavaliers loss to Florida State on Thursday.
- Camryn Taylor achieved the 1,000-point during her collegiate career when she converted a free throw early in the first quarter. She scored 598 of her points while at Marquette. She is the second UVA player this year to pass the 1,000 career point mark, joining Sam Brunelle
- Notre Dame guard Dara Mabrey left the game after two minutes with a leg injury. She entered the contest with 301 career three-point field goals, the eighth most among active players,
- The game marked the first time the Fighting Irish and Cavaliers have met since the 2020 season. Notre Dame leads the series 9-3 and is now 4-0 vs. the Hoos at home.
- Notre Dame shot 40.0 percent (8-20) from three-point range. The Cavaliers entered the game leading the ACC and ranked 10th nationally in three-point defense, allowing opponents to convert at just 25.1 percent.
- Virginia outrebounded the Irish by a 42-37 margin. The Cavaliers entered the contest 13th nationally in rebounding average (+9.7).
- UVA shot just 29.7 percent (19-64) from the field and hit only three of 15 three-point shots (20.0 percent).
- The Cavaliers managed 20 offensive rebounds to only nine for the Irish, but were outscored 15-11 on second-chance points.
- McKenna Dale and London Clarkson both matched their season highs with eight rebounds
FROM HEAD COACH AMAKA AGUGUA-HAMILTON
“Disappointing game. It’s hard losing games back-to-back, but I thought, for part of the game, our kids fought. For part of the game, we could have done a lot of things better. We were short-handed, so that was difficult, but no excuses. We should have performed better. We should have locked into the game plan a little bit better and should have hit shots. But credit to Notre Dame. They have a phenomenal team. I hope Dara Mabry is okay and it’s not a season-ending situation.”
ON THE HORIZON
- Virginia stays on the road this week, traveling to Syracuse on Thursday (Jan. 26) for a 7 p.m. contest. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra. The Cavaliers are in a stretch of playing four of five games on the road.