Shorthanded Virginia drops ACC opener to Clemson, 71-55
Virginia, down to seven players because of a rash of injuries, made a go of it late, cutting an 18-point lead to seven in the fourth quarter, but unbeaten Clemson held on for a 71-55 win on Thursday in JPJ.
Redshirt sophomore guard Amandine Toi scored a career-high 23 points, going 5-of-9 from three-point range. Grad student Emily Maupin (Charlottesville, Va.) led UVA (0-4, 0-1 ACC) with six rebounds, also adding six points.
Danae McNeal came off the bench to score a team-high 11 points for the Tigers (6-0, 1-0 ACC).
A 13-0 Clemson run enabled the Tigers to build a 43-27 lead at the half.
Virginia fought back to 55-48 on Toi’s fifth three of the game, but Clemson mounted a 12-2 run to build back up a 69-52 advantage, and it would not get back to shouting range from there.
“I want to start with just saying that I’m extremely proud of my kids. I mean, we went into this game, knowing that we had six, and Deja (Bristol) tried to tough it out, so we had her for part of the game, but I thought that we played really tough, and we were very resilient,” UVA coach Tina Thompson said.
“We went into this game knowing that it wasn’t going to be an easy feat, that Clemson was a tough team. They played hard, they go downhill, they play a lot of people and we don’t have a lot of people to play. So the fact that our kids didn’t fold, and they continued to fight, it’s a product of just kind of what we talked about daily, and what we’re teaching them and how we’re building them. Not an easy circumstance that we’re in right now, but it is what it is, and we’re going to continue to show up and we’re going to continue to fight,” Thompson said.