Long-range shooting pushes UVA past NC State, 71-63

uva womens basketballThe UVA women’s basketball team (14-7, 4-4 ACC) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 71-63 victory over NC State (12-9, 3-5 ACC) on Thursday (Jan. 29) at John Paul Jones Arena.

With Virginia trailing by five points with five minutes left in the game, freshman guard Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) scored eight-straight points, including hitting a pair of three-pointers, in a span of 2:18 to give Virginia a 63-60 lead. After NC State narrowed the gap back to one, 64-63, with 1:13 remaining, Venson kicked the ball out to sophomore guard Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) who hit UVa’s 11th three-pointer with 52 seconds remaining. After a pair of UVa free throws increased the lead to 69-63, NC State’s Jennifer Mathurin took a three-point shot that was blocked by Venson. Mason scooped up the rebound and was fouled, going to the line to convert two free throws with seven second remaining to give the Cavaliers a 71-63 victory.

“I am just really proud of the team and the fight we had in us,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “We needed that. We needed a gritty game to know what it feels like to battle in a game. I thought we did a great job of boxing out and making our free throws, all of the ‘little things.’ Those made the difference in the game.”

Venson matched her career high with 22 points, going 7-of-8 overall and 6-of-6 from three-point range. Her 6-of-6 performance was the best long-range shooting in program history, besting three players who have gone 5-of-5 from outside the arc in a game including Donna Holt (1988), Tammi Reiss (1990) and Kate Mooney (1997).

Junior guard Faith Randolph (Derwood, Md.) scored 17 points, going 3-of-5 from three-point range, with eight rebounds and five assists. Dominique Wilson paced NC State with 18 points.

The Cavaliers made eight of their first nine three-point attempts and finished the game making 11 of 15 (73.3 percent). The Wolfpack went 6-of-26 from three with Mathurin making four of the long-range goals.

NC State made just two of 15 shots in the final nine minutes of the game.

The first half of the game featured six ties and seven lead changes with Randolph hitting Virginia’s sixth trey of the game to send UVa into the break with a 36-35 edge. Early in the second half, the Wolfpack scored seven points in a span of 1:16 to take a 44-41 lead, eventually building up a 14-3 run that extended the lead to 51-44. A three-pointer by Randolph followed by a putback by senior forward Sarah Beth Barnette (Lexington, Ky.) and a pair of Venson free throws got the deficit down to two, 57-55, when the Wolfpack hit a three-pointer to extend the lead back to 60-55 with 5:26 remaining before Venson’s 8-0 run put the Cavaliers ahead for good.

Virginia held a 38-30 advantage in rebounding. The Cavaliers shot 46.9 percent (23-of-49) while the Wolfpack went 26-of-66 (39.4 percent). Virginia committed 16 turnovers while NC State committed 10.

Virginia begins a two-game road trip on Sunday, Feb, 1, playing at Clemson at 2 p.m. The game will be streamed live online on ESPN3. The Cavaliers play at No. 4 Notre Dame on Thursday, Feb. 5 before heading into a bye weekend. Virginia returns home to host No. Duke on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.

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).



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