The UVa. women’s basketball team (10-10, 3-4 ACC) fell to Syracuse (15-5, 4-3 ACC) on Sunday (Jan. 26) at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. in a game in which both teams erased double-digit deficits.
The Cavaliers held an 11-point lead midway through the first half, but a charge in the final minute of the period by the Orange had Syracuse up 37-33 at the break. In the second half, Virginia erased a 14-point deficit to briefly retake the lead, 59-58, with 9:26 remaining in the game, but the Orange finished strong to win their third game in a row.
“Congratulations to Syracuse,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “They are a tough team, especially at home. We had a lot of breakdowns and miscues in the zone. I really wanted to go man-to-man, but we had one player hobbled with a knee and another player out there in foul trouble, so I don’t know that we could have done that. We didn’t handle our business here. We need to figure out who we want to be on the road and hopefully we will do that before Thursday.”
Junior center Sarah Imovbioh (Abuja, Nigeria) posted her eighth double-double of the season with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Senior guard Kelsey Wolfe (Germantown, Md.) finished with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Syracuse’s Brittney Sykes scored 27 points, going 10-of-13 from the field, with six rebounds, three blocks, three assists and two steals. Rachel Coffey had 17 points with six assists.
Fueled by 12 early points from Wolfe, the Cavaliers jumped out to an early 26-16 lead. The Orange mounted an 8-0 run to pull within two points, 26-24, with 6:24 remaining. A layup from Imovbioh followed by a three-pointer from freshman point guard Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) halted the threat. Syracuse capitalized on three Virginia turnovers in the final minute of the half with Coffey draining a pair of threes, including her second with three seconds remaining in the period, to erase the Virginia advantage and to give the Orange a 37-33 lead at the break.
The Cavaliers started the second half committing three turnovers in the first 1:11 of the period. On the opposite end, Sykes went on a personal 7-0 run to start the period. A pull-up jumper from sophomore guard Faith Randolph (Derwood, Md.) ended the run, but the Cavaliers went down 51-37 with a little over 16 minutes remaining in the game. The Cavaliers chipped away at the lead, pulling to within three, 58-55, on a three pointer from Wolfe with 11:49remaining in the period. Virginia took its first lead of the half on a layup by Imovbioh with 9:26 remaining. Syracuse answered with a three, retaking the lead 14 seconds later. After senior guard Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) tied the game, 61-61, Sykes had back-to-back scores for the Orange to put Syracuse back into the lead.
Virginia pulled to within a point, 67-66, on an Imovbioh layup with 6:42 remaining, but Syracuse answered by scoring six straight points to build a cushion.
Virginia had 20 offensive rebounds in the game, including 10 from Imovbioh, using them to score 24 second-chance points. Virginia also took advantage of 20 Syracuse turnovers, scoring 21 points off the miscues, including seven of their first 10 points.
Syracuse outrebounded the Cavaliers, 45-38.
Senior guard Lexie Gerson (Fort Washington, Pa.) scored six points with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.
Imovbioh suffered a knee contusion in the first half. She didn’t start the second half, but checked back in at the first dead ball, playing the rest of the game.
The loss snapped a two-game win streak for the Cavaliers.
After heading to Wake Forest for a game on Thursday, Jan. 30, the Cavaliers return home to host Clemson on Sunday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. The Clemson game will also feature a pregame sports festival held in the men’s basketball practice court at John Paul Jones Arena. The festival will include seven sports stations for youth to visit, including basketball, field hockey, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, and volleyball. The festival will take place from 12:30-1:45 p.m. Youth completing all seven stations will receive a complimentary t-shirt. Admission to the festival is free with a game ticket.
There will also be activities for youth set-up in the main lobby of the arena starting at 12:30 p.m., including a sign-making station, face painting, a balloon artist, and inflatable games.
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 Mondaythrough 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).
Single-game ticket prices for all 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. Family Packages are available for $11 each and include a reserved ticket and a concessions voucher valued at $8. A minimum of four tickets must be purchased to receive package pricing.