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Women’s basketball: Virginia falls 52-43 at Rutgers

uva virginia basketballThe Virginia women’s basketball team (4-6) fell 52-43 at Rutgers (8-2) on Monday night at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J.

After falling behind 7-0 early in the first quarter, Virginia closed the opening period on a 12-4 run, limiting Rutgers to just one field goal in that span. Redshirt senior guard J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C) and sophomore center Felicia Aiyeotan (Lagos, Nigeria) combined for all of Virginia’s first 12 points. UVA was without a field goal for 6:37 to begin the second period, as Rutgers outscored the Cavaliers 15-5 in the period to lead 26-17 at the half. A 7-4 run to begin the third cut Rutgers’ lead to 30-24, but the Knights would extend their lead to 38-28 heading into the final period.

Sophomore guard Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) scored the first seven points of the fourth period as UVA was within three, 38-35. Rutgers would stretch its lead back out to 10, 45-35 with 5:37 to play. UVA was as close as six but Rutgers held on for the 52-43 win.

“We ended having really seven players for most of the game today and that group went in there and battled and just ran out of gas,” said head coach Joanne Boyle. “We got tired and it was tough to make shots, but I am proud of how we approached the game. They had the mentally that this is what we have to go to war with and they did. They didn’t quit, we kept it tight. Even at the end we were running quick hitters trying to extend the game.”

Willoughby led UVA with 14 points, while Brown finished with 13. Tyler Scaife led Rutgers with a game-high 22 points. Aiyeotan had six points and a season-high 11 rebounds.

 

Rutgers hit a three to open the game and took a 7-0 lead, all by Scaife. A three-pointer by Brown put Virginia on the board at the 5:45 mark of the first quarter. Rutgers took a 9-3 lead, but Aiyeotan converted a layup then Brown added her second three of the game and hit a long jumper to put UVA in front 10-9. Rutgers would regain the lead, but another layup by Aiyeotan put Virginia ahead 12-11 at the end of the first period.

The Scarlet Knights went on a 10-2 run to begin the second period. Virginia was without a field goal for 6:37 to begin the second period. Brown hit another three at the 3:23 mark in the second to cut it to 22-17. Brown started the game 3-for-4 from 3-point range. The Knights took a 26-17 lead into the half.

Both teams came out cold in the third period, with UVA starting 1-for-6 and Rutgers 1-for-5. The Cavaliers closed the gap to 30-22 on a three-pointer by freshman Brianna Tinsley (Madison, Va.) with 5:15 to go in the third period. Brown found sophomore forward Lisa Jablonowski (Ernster, Luxembourg) for a layup to cut it to 30-24. Rutgers hit a jumper before a three by Willoughby made it 32-27 with 3:22 to play in the third. The Scarlet Knights stretched their lead back to 38-28 at the end of the third period.

Willoughby took over to begin the fourth with three consecutive field goals, including a three, to make it a 7-0 run as UVA cut it to 38-35. However, a 7-0 run would put Rutgers up 45-35. Brown halted the Knights’ run as UVA made it 45-37 with 5:20 to play. Willoughby hit two free throws and then a layup as Virginia cut it to 48-41. The Cavaliers kept putting Rutgers at the line, who was 6-of-12 at the line down the stretch. UVA was unable to score after a layup by Huland El with 1:16 remaining. Rutgers held on for the 52-43 win.

Virginia was 16-of-45 (35.6 percent) from the field and 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from beyond the arc. Rutgers shot 34.6 percent (18-of-52) overall and 16.7 percent (3-of-18) from three-point range. Rutgers led on the boards, 38-29.

Virginia will take 12 days off for exam break from Dec. 5-16, before heading to Florida to play in the West Palm Beach Invitational, facing Ohio (4-2) on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 3:30 p.m. and Indiana (4-3) on Monday, Dec. 18 at noon. The Cavaliers’ next home game will be Thursday, Dec. 21 when they host Manhattan at 7 p.m.

 
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