Home Women’s Basketball: Virginia opens ACC play with 72-52 win over Wake Forest

Women’s Basketball: Virginia opens ACC play with 72-52 win over Wake Forest

Chris Graham
taylor valladay
Virginia guard Taylor Valladay drives to the basket. Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia opened ACC play on Sunday with a 72-52 victory against Wake Forest at John Paul Jones Arena.

The victory improves UVA to 3-0 on the season. It’s the first time since the 2016-17 season that the Cavaliers have opened a season with three consecutive wins, a pretty modest feat, all things considered.

Kaydan Lawson led Virginia with 15 points, while Camryn Taylor added 13 and Sam Brunelle 12.

Brunelle had a team-high seven rebounds.

Wake Forest shot a frigid 30.9 percent from the floor and was also just 10-of-21 from the line.

A 14-2 second-quarter run helped the ‘Hoos to a 30-25 lead at the half, and Lawson opened the third quarter with a three that jump-started a 12-0 run that put UVA up 42-25 at the 7:14 mark.

The Cavaliers led by 21 after three, and were never threatened in the fourth quarter.

“Just really proud of our group,” UVA coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton said. “We really bought into the defensive side of the ball. We played some great defense, especially on Jewel [Spear] and made things tough for her. That was what the game plan was. We made shots when we needed to and played together when we needed to. I thought we handled adversity. We saw some adversity in that second quarter. Third quarter, we came out swinging, and I just really liked our attention to detail.

“I’m just really proud of our group,” Agugua-Hamilton said. “We talk all the time that culture wins, and I truly believe that. That’s how you sustain greatness for years and years to come. It’s about them buying in, which they have since day one, and then leaving a legacy. There’s so much that we can do this season. Our ceiling is so high. I want them to be put on the record books for leaving a legacy and bringing UVA women’s basketball back. I’m really proud of them through three. We still have a lot of games left in our season. We’re celebrating this one tonight, and then we move on to the next one. I just want to keep it rolling, but I know we have a lot of games left and we’ve just got to continue to get better.”

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].