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#11 Duke pastes UVA women, 71-45

uva-duke-headerThe UVA women’s basketball team (15-9, 5-6 ACC) fell 71-45 to No. 11 Duke (19-6, 10-2 ACC) on Thursday (Feb. 12) at John Paul Jones Arena.

Senior center Sarah Imovbioh (Abuja, Nigeria) converted her first five field goal attempts of the game, finishing with 14 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) had six assists with three steals.

Duke’s Rebecca Greenwell scored 22 points, going 7-of-16 shooting, with five rebounds and two assists. Azura Stevens had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds, also adding four assists and three steels.

Duke outrebounded the Cavaliers 42-25. The Blue Devils had 18 offensive rebounds, scoring 19 second-chance points. Duke converted 22 Virginia turnovers into 24 points.

“Duke is a great team with a lot of size,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “I thought we were quite tentative and that led to being really casual with the ball. Tonight, we got pounded on the boards and that was pretty much the story of the game. You look at points off of turnovers and second chance points and that is more than half of their points.”

Virginia has now lost the last 22 meetings between the two teams and has only one victory over the Blue Devils in the last 28 meetings.

Virginia started the game making just one of its first seven shots, falling into an early 11-2 hole. An and-one from Imovbioh with 9:18 remaining in the first half pulled the Cavaliers to within six, 19-13, the closest they would come in the game. The Blue Devils outscored UVa 21-8 through the remainder of the half to take a 40-21 lead into the halftime break.

The Blue Devils started the second half on a 14-4 run, with Greenwell contributing 10 points, to take a 54-25 lead. Freshman guard Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) hit back-to-back baskets, including UVa’s first three of the game, that provided an offensive spark with 12:34 remaining, but Duke responded with an and-one, ending the threat of a Cavalier run. Duke extended the lead to 31 points, 69-38, on a three-pointer from Mercedes Riggs with 2:09 on the clock. Mason and sophomore guard Tiffany Suarez (Miami, Fla.) each had a layup in the final 1:10 to cut the final deficit to 26.

Virginia was 19-of-52 (36.5 percent) shooting, including going 2-of-11 from three-point range. Duke was 26-of-59 (44.1 percent) overall and 6-of-19 (31.6 percent) from three.

The loss was Virginia’s fourth this season to a ranked opponent. Virginia’s last victory over a ranked team was an 86-72 victory over No. 6 Maryland last season at John Paul Jones Arena.

Virginia finishes a stretch of three-straight games against top-12 opponents when they host No. 7 Florida State on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. The FSU game will be Virginia’s annual Play4Kay “Pink Game” and will be televised by the ACC Regional Sports Networks.

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 openMonday 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).