The UVA women’s basketball team (7-2) improved to 5-0 at home with a 91-49 victory over Longwood (0-9) on Tuesday (Dec. 16) at John Paul Jones Arena.
Virginia had six players finish the game in double figures, including all five starters. Senior center Sarah Imovbioh (Abuja, Nigeria) scored a season-high 25 points, going 11-of-14 from the field, while also adding 15 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Freshman forward Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.) scored 10 points, going 4-of-5 from the field, with three blocked shots and three assists.
Raven Williams scored 18 points, including 15 in the first 13 minutes of the game, to lead the Lancers.
“Obviously we are excited about the win,” said associate head coach Kim McNeill. “Our focus was getting stops and being able to put people away, and then the offensive end would come easily. I was not extremely excited about the way we started the first half, but I’m very proud of the way the ladies played in the second half. They were committed to the defensive end of the floor. We had some goals that I wanted us to reach and we got a couple of them, and a couple of them we didn’t. So tomorrow we will go back to the drawing board to prepare for Saint Mary’s, but I told the ladies to celebrate this win because it was a good win.”
Virginia scored 50 points in the paint while Longwood managed 12. The Cavaliers blocked eight shots with Moses and sophomore guard Tiffany Suarez (Miami, Fla.) each blocking three.
Longwood started the game making 8 of its first 14 shots, led by Williams who went 4-of-4 from three-point range to start the game, and held a 19-15 lead eight minutes into the game. Virginia sharpened its defensive focus, holding the Lancers to 2-of-16 shooting to close out the half. Longwood’s shooting woes continued into the second half, starting the period 1-of-11 while Virginia made 10 of its first 11 shots (90.9 percent) to build a 60-30 lead. The Cavaliers ended up shooting 63.9 percent in the second half (23-of-36) en route to scoring 54 points in the period.
The Cavaliers had 15 steals in the game with freshman guard Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) grabbing four. Virginia forced 20 turnovers, scoring 25 points off those miscues, and also scored 24 points on fast breaks. Longwood had three steals, forcing six Virginia turnovers, scoring three points off the miscues and having no fast break points.
McNeill assumed the head coaching duties for the game as Joanne Boyle was absent while finalizing an adoption.
“I’ve never sat in [the head coach’s] seat before, so that was an adjustment,” McNeill said. “I have to give credit to coach Boyle. She definitely gives us, as assistants, a lot of say and freedom to do a lot of stuff. She is not the type of coach where only her voice can be heard. She has given us a lot of opportunities to lead in practice. I told the team before that I was a little nervous, but that was to be expected, but I was excited about the opportunity.”
Virginia will host Saint Mary’s (CA) on Friday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. and Howard on Sunday, Dec. 21 at 6 p.m. to finish off its three-game week. The Cavaliers will not have another road game until the New Year when they open up ACC play on Jan. 4, 2015 at Virginia Tech.
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).