Home Women’s Basketball: Virginia rallies from early deficit, defeats Missouri, 87-81
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Women’s Basketball: Virginia rallies from early deficit, defeats Missouri, 87-81

Chris Graham
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Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half, but the ‘Hoos rallied to force overtime, then dominated the extra minutes, to post an 87-81 win over Missouri in the ACC/SEC Challenge.

The turnaround came in the third quarter, as UVA (5-2) turned an eight-point halftime deficit into an eight-point lead after the second of back-to-back layups from Camryn Taylor and Kymora Johnson.

Mizzou (5-3) got back into it later with Grace Slaughter draining two three-pointers and scoring a tough layup down the stretch to cut the UVA lead to one, 73-72, with 36 seconds remaining.

With the shot clock winding down, Johnson, who finished with nine points and seven assists, got by her defender and finished a layup with seven seconds left in regulation to give the Hoos a 75-72 lead.

On the ensuing Tiger possession, Haley Frank drew a foul on a three-point shot, which sent her to the line with 4.9 seconds left on the clock.

Frank sunk all three free throws, and UVA did not get off a shot on its final possession of regulation, sending the game to OT.

Both teams traded the first two baskets of overtime, but then the Cavaliers scored six straight points to gain an 83-77 lead.

It would not get closer the rest of the way, as the ‘Hoos made six of their last eight free throw attempts to help seal the win.

Taylor finished with a game-high 26 points, one shy of her career high, on 10-of-19 shooting from the field and 6-for-7 at the charity stripe. Taylor nearly grasped a double-double with nine rebounds, including four offensive boards.

London Clarkson (17 points, 5-of-6 FG, 7-of-8 FT, 7 rebounds), Paris Clark (14 points, 4 rebounds) and Alexia Smith (10 points, 5-of-10 FG, 13 rebounds) also scored in double figures.

Smith’s double-double was the first of her career.

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].