Home Women’s Basketball: Virginia can’t complete comeback, falls 86-76 to #19 Notre Dame

Women’s Basketball: Virginia can’t complete comeback, falls 86-76 to #19 Notre Dame

Chris Graham
uva basketball notre dame
Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia trailed by as many as 20 points in the third quarter, trimmed its deficit to as little as six in the fourth, but ultimately came up short, falling to #19 Notre Dame, 86-76, on Thursday at JPJ.

The loss was the sixth in a row for UVA (8-9, 0-6 ACC).

Notre Dame (13-3, 4-2 ACC) shot 44 free throws in the win, which tied for the most by a UVA opponent since John Paul Jones Arena opened in 2006.

“We can’t give up 33 points from the free throw line. That’s points you can’t guard. I mean, we just gave them 33 points,” UVA coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton said after the game.

Kymora Johnson (16 points), Paris Clark (16 points) and Olivia McGhee (14 points) all scored in double figures for the ‘Hoos.

In her second career start, first-year McGhee tied her season high in scoring. Johnson added eight rebounds and seven assists, both of which were team highs.

Sonia Citron (28 points, 12-12 FT) and Hannah Hidalgo (23 points, 9 assists) led the Irish to their third consecutive win.

Trailing 64-47 entering the fourth, Virginia implemented a full-court press that gave the Irish fits. The Cavaliers chiseled away at the lead, which culminated when Johnson’s second made three-pointer cut UVA’s deficit six [76-70] with 2:51 to play.

That was as close as it would get.

“Obviously, we want to get the win. We want to get our first one in conference,” Agugua-Hamilton said. “We understand that there’s been at least one quarter that’s really hurt us. Today it was the third quarter, even though the first quarter, I thought we started good, they beat us in the first quarter, but we beat them in a second, we beat them in the fourth. Third quarter was pretty bad.

“It’s just difficult to always be trying to dig yourself out of a hole, even though we did. We did, but I mean it takes a lot. You got to press, you got to exude a lot of energy, and then we close the gap, got it six points. Then (Sonia) Citron had a drive on us, and she scored an and-1, went back up, you know to eight or nine and then you know we just couldn’t get key stops. That was kind of how the game went,” Agugua-Hamilton said.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].