Virginia led 56-38 at the end of the third quarter, but Virginia Tech’s Taylor Emery scored the first 15 points of the fourth to make it a three-point game with 6:07 to play. The Hokies tied the game with 2:49 remaining and then took a 61-59 lead, extending it to 62-59 with 1:41 remaining. Virginia scored the final five points of the game, including the game-winning put-back by senior forward Lauren Moses (Mount Holly, N.J.) with 38 seconds remaining to secure the victory.
Sophomore guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) and redshirt senior guard J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.) finished the game with 15 points and five rebounds apiece. Sophomore guard Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) scored 13 points with four assists and four rebounds.
Emery finished the game with 32 points, scoring 19 in the fourth quarter. Rachel Camp scored 12 points with nine rebounds.
“I am just happy to get out of here with a win,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “I am extremely proud of our team for withstanding the huge run that Virginia Tech made down the stretch. This team just doesn’t have any quit in them. In the fourth quarter, Virginia Tech pressed and we panicked. The crowd got into it. They were hitting big threes. It got so loud. I think we got really nervous and we didn’t clear the ball well. We had too many turnovers in a row which gave them momentum and more scoring opportunities. They went up three, but I think that is where the resilience really came in. That was the point where we could have stopped, but our players had no quit in them at that point. If we can continue to do that, show that kind of resilience, that is what tournament teams do.”
The Cavaliers scored the first seven points of the game and jumped out to a 12-4 lead, with Willoughby scoring eight of those first dozen points. The Hokies started the game going 2-of-11 from the field while Virginia shot 50.0 percent in the first quarter to take a 21-10 lead. Virginia Tech struggled to start the second quarter as well, making just one of its first six shot attempts. Brown found her stroke midway through in the second quarter, hitting a pair of threes to push the Cavaliers out to a 33-17 lead. The Cavaliers went into the break up 39-21.
The Cavaliers built their lead up to 23, 48-25, on a shock-clock-beating layup from Brown with five minutes left in the third period, but Virginia Tech hit a pair of threes in the final 1:55 to cut the lead to 18, 54-36. Willoughby closed out the quarter with a layup, giving the Cavaliers a 56-38 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Emery scored the first 15 points of the fourth quarter, hitting three jumpers and a pair of threes before being fouled on another three attempt and converting the trio of free throws. The Cavaliers were just 0-of-2 shooting during the run, but committed six turnovers. Toussaint scored the first points of the quarter for the Cavaliers at the free throw line with 4:35 remaining. The Hokies tied the game at the free throw line with 2:42 remaining. Emery hit a jumper to put the Hokies ahead 61-59 with 2:06 remaining.
The Cavaliers trailed 62-59 when Toussaint made a layup to pull within one, 62-61, with 1:05 remaining. Virginia Tech turned the ball over, giving the Cavaliers possession. Toussaint took a shot and missed, by Moses grabbed the rebound and got the putback to put UVA up 63-62. On the ensuing possession, Willoughby tied up the ball to force another turnover by the Hokies. Willoughby was fouled and went to the line, making one of her two attempts. Virginia Tech rebounded the ball off the miss and had possession with 7.8 seconds remaining. Emery took a shot and missed, but the Hokies grabbed the rebound. They got off another shot with two seconds remaining, but Moses came up with the rebound to end the game.
The Cavaliers shot 46.0 percent (23-of-50) in the first three quarters, but went 2-of-10 in the fourth quarter. Virginia Tech went 7-of-9 to start the fourth quarter, but went 1-of-5 in the final four minutes of the game.
The game was sponsored by Virginia529, the official college savings plan of University of Virginia Athletics. With Virginia’s victory, the Cavaliers have earned a half-point in the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash. Virginia trails in the Clash, 5.5-2.5. Learn more about Virginia529 and this competition at TheCommmonwealthClash.com.
The Cavaliers return home next week for their final two home games of the season, taking on No. 5 Notre Dame (23-2, 11-1 ACC) on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. and Miami (17-7, 7-4 ACC) on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 12:30 p.m.
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 open Monday 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).