CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (15-14, 4-14 ACC) suffered an 85-74 loss in its final game of the 2022-23 regular season at Miami (18-11, 11-7 ACC) on Sunday (Feb. 26) at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.
The shorthanded Cavaliers, who only dressed six players for the game, scored their most points in a conference game this year but fell to the Hurricanes, who led for all but six minutes of the contest.
Four of Virginia’s six players finished the game in double figures. Camryn Taylor had her fifth 20-point game of the season with 21 points and seven rebounds. Taylor Valladay scored 16 points with six assists. McKenna Dale scored 14 points, going 6-of-8 from the field including making two of three three-point attempts. Cady Pauley came off the bench to score 12 points, matching her career high.
Destiny Harden led Miami with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Hanna Cavinder went 5-of-7 from three-point range for 15 points. Kyla Oldacre scored 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting.
The Cavaliers will be the No. 13 seed in the 2023 Ally ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, taking place March 1-5 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C. UVA opens play on Wednesday at 1 p.m., taking on 12-seed Wake Forest.
FROM HEAD COACH AMAKA AGUGUA-HAMILTON
“We been through a lot of adversity. I typically don’t believe in moral victories. I want to win. I’m competitive and so is my team. But I’m proud of the fight that we showed today. I’m proud that we were able to compete for 40 minutes with all the adversity, low numbers, and barriers that were put in our way. So this is something that we can build on for the ACC tournament.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
A three-pointer from Dale with 7:45 remaining in the first quarter gave the Cavaliers a 5-0 lead to start the game. A jumper just inside the arc from Alexia Smith pushed UVA’s advantage to 7-2 with six minutes left in the quarter. An and-one from Harden started a 14-0 run by the Hurricanes, with a three from Hanna Cavinder capping the spurt and giving the home team a 16-7 lead. Valladay scored five straight points, including hitting her lone trey of the day, to narrow the gap to 16-12 with 1:48 remaining, but Oldacre ended the quarter by converting an and-one to put Miami ahead 22-14.
After the two teams started the second quarter going a collective 2-of-13 from the field, both found their rhythm. Smith started the shooting resurgence with a jumper in the lane with just under six minutes remaining, but another three from Hanna Cavinder pushed the Miami lead back out to 34-22 with 3:17 remaining. A pair of threes from Pauley cut the deficit to eight, 38-30, with 33 seconds remaining, but Karla Erjavec ended the quarter with a jumper to send the Canes into the locker room with a 40-30 advantage.
Miami opened the second half with back-to-back buckets, but a three from Pauley followed by an and-one from Taylor made it a 48-42 game with 6:08 left in the quarter. Miami answered with a 7-0 run before Pauley drained another three with 3:38 remaining to make it 59-49. Valladay ended the quarter with an and-one, narrowing the gap to 67-60.
Hanna Cavinder opened the final period with a three-pointer. Back-to-back threes from Cavinder and Harden built up a 15-point advantage with 5:52 remaining. Back-to-back jumpers from Taylor and Valladay followed by a free throw from Smith got the deficit back to 10 before Harden scored a jumper to push the lead out to 81-69. A three-pointer from Dale made it 84-74 with a minute to play. The Canes did not make a field goal in the final 2:55 of the game, but went 4-of-6 from the free throw line down the stretch to close out the 11-point win.
- Virginia did not have any players foul out. Kaydan Lawson had three fouls in the first quarter but finished the game with four. McKenna Dale also had four fouls
- Senior forward London Clarkson was serving a one-game suspension after being issued a fighting foul in the loss at Clemson on Thursday
- Freshman guard Yonta Vaughn was in concussion protocols and did not dress for the game
- Virginia shot 42.0 percent (29-of-69); Miami shot 52.5 percent (32-of-61)
- Miami held a 38-29 edge in rebounding
- Virginia scored 30 points in the first half and 30 points in the third quarter
- The 74 points scored by the Cavaliers were the most since scoring 84 against Morgan State on Dec. 18
- UVA scored 72 points at Syracuse on Jan. 26 and at home against Wake Forest on Nov. 13, their previous ACC scoring highs
- Alexia Smith scored nine points with seven rebounds and six assists
- Virginia turned the ball over 12 times while Miami committed 15 turnovers