HIGHLIGHTS: (4) Virginia 71, High Point 59

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 4 seed Virginia (16-15) nearly led wire to wire as the Cavaliers cruised to an 81-59 victory over High Point (20-12) in the first round of the inaugural Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament (WBIT) at John Paul Jones Arena Thursday night (March 21). The win marked UVA’s first in postseason play since 2018 and first at John Paul Jones Arena since 2012.

With the win, the Cavaliers advance to the WBIT second round and travel to No. 1 seed Villanova (19-12) on Sunday (March 24). Tipoff Finneran Pavilion is set for 2 p.m. on ESPN+.

Five Cavaliers scored in double figures, including Paris Clark who finished with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting and tied her career high of six steals. Camryn Taylor (13 pts), Alexia Smith (13 pts, 6-12 FG), Sam Brunelle (11 pts, 4-6 FG) and Kymora Johnson (10 pts, 5-11 FG, 6 ast) rounded out the list of double-digit scorers for UVA. Off the bench, Edessa Noyan tallied a career-high 10 rebounds.

Virginia logged 42 points in the paint, only four shy of its season high. The Panthers committed 24 turnovers, the second most by a UVA opponent this season.

High Point’s Bukky Akinsola recorded a game-high 21 points after shooting 9 for 14 from the field. Seventeen of her 21 total points came in the first half.

Virginia connected on its first three field goals of the game, including a 3-pointer from Brunelle only eight seconds in, much to the delight of the home crowd. After UVA hit its first three shots, the Panthers grasped their only lead of the game [10-9] at the 5:01 mark of the first quarter after orchestrating a 10-2 run. Five different Cavaliers found the bottom of the net by the end of the period at which point the Hoos led, 26-18.

The Cavaliers scored 11 of the first 12 points of the second quarter and ultimately grasped a 19-point lead [43-24] after Taylor Lauterbach’s layup fell through the net with 2:24 remaining in the first half. The Panthers, who shot just 3 of 15 in the second quarter, scored the final five points of the period as UVA clung to a 43-29 lead at the break. Akinsola’s 17 points led all scorers at the half. Smith led the way for the Cavaliers in the first two periods with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Clark posted three of her career-high six steals in the third quarter. High Point finished the period with seven turnovers as the Cavaliers extended their lead to 65-43 heading into the fourth.

Cady Pauley came off the bench and delivered eight points in the final quarter on two made 3s and a layup. A jumper by Jillian Brown gave the Hoos their largest lead of the night [79-52] with 1:45 to play. HPU made two shots with under 1:00 left, but to no avail as the Panthers dropped their second consecutive game for the first time in over three months.

“That was a great team win. Really proud of our group. I thought everybody contributed. Everybody had energy. Everybody did something great when they were out there.”


  • Virginia secured its first postseason victory since 2018, when UVA defeated No. 7 seed Cal in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Columbia, S.C.
  • The Cavaliers earned their first postseason win in John Paul Jones Arena since winning three games at home in the 2012 WNIT.
  • UVA is assured at least a .500 overall record for the second consecutive season.
  • The Hoos recorded their 16th win of the season, their highest win total since finishing 19-14 in 2017-18.


  • Virginia led for 39:36 of game time.
  • Five Cavaliers scored in double figures for the first time since UVA’s 73-66 win at Boston College (Feb. 8).
  • Virginia scored a season-high 29 points off 24 Panther turnovers.
  • The Hoos scored 42 points in the paint, their third-highest output of the season, also only four shy of tying their season high.
  • Paris Clark tied her career high of six steals.
  • Edessa Noyan tallied a career-high 10 rebounds after coming off the bench.

Postgame: Amaka Agugua-Hamilton, Kymora Johnson and Sam Brunelle spoke to the media following the Cavaliers' 81-59 win over High Point