The UVA women’s basketball team (9-3) lost at home for the first time this season, falling 67-57 to Davidson (4-8) in the first day of the Cavalier Classic Presented by Holiday Inn University Area tournament at John Paul Jones Arena.
After leading 34-20 with 4:29 left in the first half, Virginia went 0-for-6 from the field in the final four minutes. Davidson took advantage of the scoring drought, scoring 10 points in that span to go into the break trailing by just four, 34-30. The Cavaliers’ shooting woes continued at the start of the second half, going 1-of-9 in the first eight minutes. The Wildcats, who shot 50 percent in the second half, went on a 9-0 run right after the break and built up a 19-point lead, 59-40, midway through the period. Virginia outscored Davidson 15-6 in the final 5:43 of the game to cut the final deficit to 10.
“I am disappointed because we had a great energy in practice yesterday and I thought we were ready to get back from Christmas break and get started in the tournament,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “I think we got comfortable when we got a 14-point lead and then got discombobulated and let one end of the floor affect the other.”
Senior center Sarah Imovbioh (Abuja, Nigeria) logged her seventh double-double of the season, scoring 21 points with 19 rebounds, including 12 offensive rebounds.
Davidson’s Hannah Early scored 24 points, including making six three-pointers, adding nine rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists.
Virginia shot a season-low 31.3 percent, going 20-of-64 overall. In the second half, UVa was just 7-of-31 from the field, including making two of 12 three-point attempts. Davidson made 14-of-28 shots in the second half and were 25-of-55 (45.5 percent) overall. The Cavaliers held a 41-37 edge in rebounding.
Imovbioh and junior guard Faith Randolph (Derwood, Md.) got Virginia off to a quick start. Imovbioh scored eight points in the first eight minutes with Randolph contributing an early five, making two of her first three shots including a three-pointer that gave UVa its first points of the game. The Cavaliers cobbled together a 7-0 run, sparked by a three-pointer from senior forward Sarah Beth Barnette (Lexington, Ky.) and ending with a layup from Imovbioh, to take a 34-20 lead with 4:29 left in the first half.
Imovbioh broke the Cavaliers’ scoring drought in the second half, scoring a layup with 14:34 remaining in the game. Imovbioh scored four of Virginia’s seven second-half field goals, with a pair of threes from Randolph and a jumper from freshman forward Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.) accounting for the other three.
Randolph also had her worst shooting game of the year. After starting the game 2-of-3, she went 2-for-16 for the rest of the game. Imovbioh was 8-of-13 shooting.
The loss gives the Cavaliers a 7-1 record at John Paul Jones Arena this season.
In the opening game of the tournament, Drexel (6-4) earned a 71-54 victory over Miami (2-8), the 200th career victory for Dragons’ head coach Denise Dillon. Rachel Pearson led Drexel with a 25-point performance. Courtney Larson scored 15 points with seven rebounds for the RedHawks.
This year, the Cavalier Classic will have set match-ups as opposed to a pure “classic” format with Miami and Davidson playing at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow (Monday, Dec. 29) followed by Virginia and Drexel at 7 p.m. An All-Tournament Team will be announced, but there will not be a tournament champion.
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).