Women’s basketball: Virginia wins 68-57 at Boston College

uva basketballThe Virginia women’s basketball team (12-6, 5-0 ACC) extended its win streak to eight games as it topped Boston College, 68-57, on Thursday (Jan. 11) at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Boston College (6-10, 1-2 ACC) led for the first five minutes of the game, but the Cavaliers erased the deficit and led for the remainder of the contest. After a close opening quarter, the Cavaliers finished off the half on a 15-2 run to take control of the game and held a 38-21 lead at halftime. The Eagles cut the deficit to single digits, 52-43, with 44 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but the Cavaliers held on for the 11-point victory.

This is the Cavaliers longest win streak since winning eight games in a row in 2008-09. The Cavaliers have started ACC play 5-0 for the first time since the 2000 season when the team started ACC play with nine-straight wins. The Cavaliers are tied with No. 3 Louisville for first place in the ACC.

Sophomore guard Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) had her first double-double of the season, scoring 18 points with 11 rebounds. Willoughby started the game making seven of her first eight field goal attempts. Sophomore guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) scored 12 points with seven assists. Redshirt senior guard J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.) scored 12 points with seven rebounds.

Milan Bolden-Morris was one of three BC players in double figures, leading the team with 14 points. Emma Guy had 12 points with eight rebounds.

“We took what they gave us, we used the clock when we needed to,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “We were trying to go downhill early in the game and get some quick hitters down the lane. I thought we did a good job of that. We just need to be mindful of the details. We scrapped out the win. I thought Jocelyn played well and Lauren [Moses] had a great game. It is hard to win games on the road, you are out of your atmosphere. We have to control the controllable and we have to keep doing that. We did at times tonight and other times it got away from us.”

After BC jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, Toussaint scored seven points in a 9-0 UVA run that put the Cavaliers in the lead, 11-7. Virginia’s defense kept the Eagles from scoring a field goal for a seven-minute span in the quarter and took a 15-11 lead into the second period.

The Eagles started the second quarter by pulling to within a point, 17-16, on a three from Bolden-Morris in the first minute-and-a-half, but it was as close as they would come. Virginia held a 23-19 advantage when Toussaint hit a three-pointer, followed by a layup from Brown and a jumper from senior guard Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.), with all three scores coming within a 30-second span to build the Virginia advantage to 30-19. The Cavaliers extended the run to a 15-2 advantage over the last three minutes of the half, making their final six field goal attempts of the second quarter. The Cavaliers shot 62.5 percent (10-of-16) in the second quarter.

The Eagles had the hot hand in the third quarter, making seven of nine field goal attempts in a stretch that narrowed Virginia’s lead to single digits, 52-43, with 44 seconds left in the period, but Willoughby hit a jumper to extend the Cavalier advantage back to double-digits heading in the final quarter.

Three-pointers from BC’s Bolden-Morris and Taylor Ortlepp early in the fourth quarter again cut the Virginia lead down to just 10 points, but a pair of layups from sophomore center Felicia Aiyeotan (Lagos, Nigeria) kept the Eagles from mounting a run. The two teams traded points down the stretch with a pair of Willoughby free throws in the final seconds preserving the double-digit margin of victory.

The Cavaliers shot 50.0 percent for the second straight game, going 28-of-56 from the field and 6-of-14 (42.9 percent) from three-point range. Boston College was 20-of-48 (41.7 percent) overall and 9-of-27 (33.3 percent) from three-point range. Virginia held a 35-24 edge in rebounding.

Virginia plays back-to-back road games this week, closing out the week by playing at No. 18 Duke (13-4, 2-2 ACC) on Sunday, January 14 for a 3 p.m. game against the Blue Devils that will be broadcast on ESPN2. The Cavaliers return home on Sunday, January 21 when they host Virginia Tech (12-3, 1-1 ACC) at 12:30 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.

Single-game ticket prices for all home games are $10 for Reserved seating, $8 for adult General Admission and $6 for youth (18 & under), senior (60 & over) and UVA faculty/staff General Admission. Fans may purchase home game tickets through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office online at VirginiaSports.com, by phone and in person. The Virginia Athletics Ticket Office is located in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium and open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Telephone purchases can be made by calling 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821) or locally at 434-924-UVA1 (8821).

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