CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (8-9, 0-6 ACC) trailed by as many as 20 points in the third quarter and trimmed its deficit to as little as six in the fourth, but ultimately it was too much to overcome as No. 19 Notre Dame (13-3, 4-2) held on to win, 86-76, Thursday evening (Jan. 18) at John Paul Jones Arena.

Notre Dame shot 44 free throws in the win, which tied for the most by a UVA opponent since John Paul Jones Arena opened in 2006. The Fighting Irish outscored Virginia 25-14 in the third quarter to build a hefty 20-point lead.

Kymora Johnson (16 pts), Paris Clark (16 pts) and Olivia McGhee (14 pts) all scored in double figures for the Hoos. In her second career start, first-year McGhee tied her season high in scoring. Johnson added eight rebounds and seven assists, both of which were team highs.

Sonia Citron (28 pts, 12-12 FT) and Hannah Hidalgo (23 pts, 9 ast) led the Irish to their third consecutive win.

Johnson scored or assisted on UVA’s first five made field goals. Her first made 3 of the game broke a tied score to put the Hoos up 12-9, but that was the last time Virginia led in Thursday’s contest. Notre Dame erased UVA’s lead after sparking an 8-0 run and scored the last five points of the quarter to lead hold a 24-16 advantage after the first 10 minutes of play.

The Fighting Irish secured a 10-point lead with under two minutes to play in the second, but back-to-back layups by Clark and McGhee trimmed UVA’s deficit to six [39-33] heading into the break. Virginia made six of its 12 shots from the field in the second, including Taylor Lauterbach’s second 3-pointer of the season.

Notre Dame scored the first nine points of the third to grasp, and later claimed eight unanswered points to deliver its largest lead of the contest, 58-38. The Fighting Irish outscored UVA 25-14 in quarter No. 3. Hidalgo and Citron combined for 13 points in the third and UND converted eight Virginia turnovers into 10 points.

Trailing 64-47 entering the fourth, Virginia implemented a full-court press which gave the Irish fits. The Cavaliers chiseled away UND’s lead, which culminated when Johnson’s second made 3-pointer cut UVA’s deficit six [76-70] with 2:51 to play. However, untimely fouls by the Hoos foiled their comeback attempt. Both London Clarkson and Camryn Taylor fouled out in the fourth quarter, and for the second consecutive period the Irish attempted 17 free throws. Notre Dame finished the second half 24-for-34 at the charity stripe to help seal the win.

“Obviously, we want to get the win. We want to get our first one in conference. We understand that there’s been at least one quarter that’s really hurt us. Today it was the third quarter, even though the first quarter, I thought we started good, they beat us in the first quarter, but we beat them in a second, we beat them in the fourth. Third quarter was pretty bad. It’s just difficult to always be trying to dig yourself out of a hole, even though we did. We did, but I mean it takes a lot. You got to press, you got to exude a lot of energy, and then we close the gap, got it six points. Then (Sonia) Citron had a drive on us, and she scored an and-1, went back up, you know to eight or nine and then you know we just couldn’t get key stops. That was kind of how the game went. We can’t give up 33 points from the free throw line. That’s points you can’t guard. I mean, we just gave them 33 points. So, we understand that there are some positives on here. We had some pretty good performances. These two (Olivia McGhee and Paris Clark), Mo (Kymora Johnson), Taylor (Lauterbach), Edessa (Noyan), and a couple people off the bench. So, we do have some bright spots. We talked about that in the locker room, but we’re focused on getting a win. I know once we get that first win in conference, it’ll continue to trickle down.”


  • In her second career start, Olivia McGhee tied her season high in scoring with 14 points.
  • Virginia’s bench tallied 35 points, including a combined 30-point effort from McGhee and Paris Clark (16).
  • The Cavaliers have now tallied at least 25 points from their bench in nine games this season.
  • The Fighting Irish’s 44 free throws tied for the most by a UVA opponent in John Paul Jones Arena since it opened in 2006 … Rhode Island also attempted 44 free throws at JPJ on Nov. 26, 2021.
  • Since 2001, no other ACC opponent has shot at least 44 free throws in a single game against Virginia.
  • With the win, Notre Dame extended its lead to 11-3 in the series, which began in 1981.

Virginia travels to No. 15 Florida State (14-4, 5-1 ACC) on Sunday (Jan. 21). Tipoff from Tucker Center is set for 2 p.m. on ACC Network Extra (ACCNX).