The Virginia women’s basketball team (14-7, 3-7 ACC) dropped a 90-72 decision at Syracuse (14-7, 5-5) on Thursday at the JMA Wireless Dome.

Hot shooting Syracuse guard Dyaisha Fair proved to be the difference. The Buffalo transfer hit a season-high 36 points including a career-best eight three-point shots. As a team, Syracuse made 12 three-pointers.

Syracuse also managed to beat UVA on the boards, a statistic the Cavaliers have dominated most of the season. The Orange outrebounded Virginia by a 38-31 margin. The Hoos entered the contest ranked 15th in the nation in rebound margin at +9.4.

Camryn Taylor, despite missing much of the third quarter in foul trouble, led the Hoos with 20 points. She fouled out of the contest with 4:30 remaining in the final quarter.


The game opened as a back-and-forth affair until Syracuse went on an 8-3 run to end the opening quarter with a 22-17 lead. The Orange were led by senior guard Alaina Rice’s 10 points that included a pair of three-pointers.

Syracuse quickly built an eight-point lead at the start of the second quarter following a three-pointer by Fair and a layup by Saniaa Wilson that put the Orange up 27-19. A pair of free throws and back-to-back field goals by Taylor ignited a UVA comeback. Consecutive three-pointers by Sam Brunelle and McKenna Dale on back-to-back possessions gave the Cavaliers a 32-29 lead with 4:40 to play in the first half.

The Orange answered back with their own run, pulling ahead by five points on a three-pointer by Georgia Woolley with 55 seconds to play. Dale answered with her own three-pointer with 37 seconds remaining to cut Syracuse’s lead to 41-39 at the half.

Dale finished the contest with 11 points, her third double-figure scoring game of the season.

Syracuse got the majority of its first-half offense from behind the three-point arc. The Orange hit seven in the opening half to account for more than half of their points. Fair contributed a trio of three-pointers in the second quarter to finish the half with 12 points. UVA, powered by Clarkson’s 10 first-half points, had 22 points in the paint during the first half that saw eight lead changes between the teams.

Early in the second half, Fair made her fifth three-pointer to put the Cuse up 46-42. Rice then scored on the fast break following a Cavalier turnover and Fair added a fast break lay in after Brunelle’s shot in the paint was blocked. That gave Syracuse its largest lead at 51-42.

Once again the Cavaliers responded. When Vaught hit a three-pointer with 3:14 to play it brought UVA to within 54-51. It was just the 10th three-pointer of the season for the freshman guard.

A UVA turnover resulting in another fast-break basket allowed Syracuse to end the third quarter sporting a 65-58 lead.

Fair made sure the Cavaliers would not make another rally in the final period. She ripped off 17 points, hitting five of six shots and all three three-point attempts. She added four free throws to score a total of 24 points in the half. Fair entered the game second on the NCAA active career scoring list with 2,416 points.


  • The game featured a pair of first-year ACC head coaches and a pupil vs. teacher storyline. UVA head coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton played for Syracuse head coach Felisha Legette-Jack at Hofstra from 2003 to 2006 at Hofstra. Agugua-Hamilton later served as an assistant coach for Legette-Jack at Indiana from 2009-2011.
  • The loss was UVA’s 13th consecutive ACC road loss.
  • Syracuse’s 90 points was the most scored by an opponent this season
  • Yonta Vaughn had a career-high eight assists, the most by a Cavalier in a game this season
  • McKenna Dale hit three of five three-point shots during the game. In her previous four outings, she was just 1-13 from three-point range.
  • London Clarkson finished with 16 points, her second-best scoring night of the season.
  • Camryn Taylor posted 20 points for the third time this season
  • Sam Brunelle was the fourth Cavalier to finish in double figures, scoring 10 points
  • Junior guard Kaydan Lawson was suspended (coach’s decision) and did not participate in the contest


“Credit to Syracuse for playing a good game. But that was not our best effort. I’m very disappointed in the way that we showed up to this game and how we executed the game plan. We definitely are better than what we displayed and need to get back to work and come together.”


  • Virginia returns to John Paul Jones Arena for its second meeting with Virginia Tech. The Commonwealth Clash matchup will tip-off at 6 p.m. and be televised by the ACC Network.