GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (15-15, 4-14 ACC) suffered a 68-57 loss against Wake Forest (15-15, 5-13 ACC) in the first round of the 2023 Ally ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday (March 1) at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.

The Cavaliers cut a 13-point first-half deficit down to one point in the opening seconds of the third quarter, but Wake Forest mounted a 21-1 run in that same period to build up a 21-point lead. Virginia struck back in the fourth quarter, going on a 14-2 run that cut the deficit to six points and trailed 62-57 with 3:44 remaining in the contest, but the Wake Forest defense held UVA scoreless for the remainder of the contest.

Camryn Taylor led the Cavaliers with 19 points and eight rebounds. Alexia Smith finished with 14 points, matching her career high. Jewel Spear scored 19 points for the Demon Deacons while Elise Williams had 14. Demeara Hinds had 11 rebounds with eight points.


McKenna Dale dished a pass to a wide-open Taylor at the top of the arc 26 seconds into the game. Taylor added a free throw 30 seconds later to give UVA a 4-0 lead, but then the momentum shifted. Wake Forest scored 12 points in a 2:35 span, with a steal and a fastbreak layup from Spear with 6:01 left in the quarter prompting a Virginia timeout. After the time out, both teams traded misses on their ends of the court until Williams rolled a layup around the rim and into the net, extending Wake’s lead to 14-4 with 4:05 remaining. London Clarkson ended a 7:21 span for UVA without a field goal and a streak of eight straight missed field goal attempts with a jumper with 2:13 remaining. Taylor made a layup with 13.3 seconds remaining to narrow the gap to 19-8 heading into the second quarter.

Smith hit a jumper to open the second quarter, getting the deficit back down to single digits. The Cavalier defense stepped up, forcing a shot clock violation on Wake’s first possession and Taylor taking a charge to force another turnover on the Demon Deacon’s second. A jumper by Taylor Valladay with seven minutes left cut it to a 19-12 game. After Wake missed its first four field goal attempts of the period, Williams made a layup followed by a jumper from Spear to go back up by double figures. Virginia ended a three-minute scoring drought with a pair of Clarkson free throws to make it 24-14 with four minutes left. A deep three from Smith cut the deficit to 24-17. The Cavaliers forced a turnover and then used a free throw line jumper from Taylor to pull to within five with three minutes left. A three-pointer from Cady Pauley with 36.9 seconds left in the half made it 28-23. Wake Forest missed on its next possession, with Pauley grabbing the rebound. The Hoos hustled up the floor, with Smith converting a layup with 4.6 seconds left in the half to make it a 28-25 game at the break.

Smith hit a jumper 10 seconds into the second half to make it a one-point deficit, but Wake Forest scored nine points in a two-minute span to extend the lead out to 37-27. The Demon Deacons extended the run to 21-1 to lead 49-28. Smith ended the run by hitting a jumper with 3:39 remaining, Virginia’s first field goal in 6:11. The Cavaliers started chipping away at the free throw line, making it a 50-37 game with 1:39 remaining in the period. A layup from Smith with 1:08 remaining cut the deficit to 11 points, but Spear hit a three-pointer and followed with an and-one for a personal 6-0 run. A layup from Taylor with 1.8 seconds left made it 56-41 heading into the fourth quarter.

After Wake built up an 18-point lead at the start of the fourth, a pair of jumpers from Taylor flanking a Pauley three got the deficit back down to 11 points, 59-48, with 7:08 remaining. A pair of free throws from Clarkson narrowed the gap to nine with 6:18 remaining. A jumper and a free throw from Taylor, followed by a layup from Valladay, made it a 14-2 Virginia run and cut the deficit to 61-55 with 4:32 remaining. The Cavaliers pulled to within five, 62-57, on a second-chance jumper from Dale with 3:44 remaining. Virginia trailed by that same score going into the final two minutes of play. Alexandria Scruggs hit a jumper for Wake with 1:52 remaining. The Cavaliers missed on their next attempt and had to begin fouling, trailing 64-57 with 58.8 seconds remaining. After a pair of Wake Forest makes at the stripe, UVA advanced the ball but turned it over on the inbounds play. The Demon Deacons went 4-of-6 from the free throw line in the final minute to win by 11 points.


“I’m disappointed. Obviously I don’t think we fought like how we’ve been fighting all season. We’ve had a lot of adversity this year, had to overcome a lot. Only had seven available players today. And I don’t believe in making excuses, so I think we should still be able to fight and play Virginia women’s basketball. I don’t think we did that today.

“It’s been a long season. I think our players need a break, mentally and physically. Coaches and coaching staff need a break. But to end the season 15-15 after just winning five games last season is definitely a success. But we’ll be way better next year.”


  • Virginia shot 33.9 percent (20-of-59). Wake Forest shot 45.5 percent (25-of-55)
  • Virginia shot 21.4 percent in the first quarter. Wake Forest shot 21.4 percent in the fourth quarter
  • Virginia held a 38-35 edge in rebounds
  • The game was Camryn Taylor’s 21st double-digit scoring game of the season. It was her fourth straight game leading the team in scoring and third straight pacing the team in rebounding
  • Alexia Smith’s 14 points was her highest output as a Cavalier. It matched the 14 points she scored while at Minnesota against UTSA on Nov. 28, 2021
  • Virginia had seven players dress for the game. Freshman guard Yonta Vaughn was in concussion protocols and did not attend the game