UVa. women’s basketball defeats Wake Forest, 64-59
The Demon Deacons whittled a 17-point deficit down to one point, 58-57, on a three-pointer from Dearica Hamby with 29 seconds remaining, but strong defense and six-made free throws by the Cavaliers in the final 23 seconds of the game secured the Virginia victory.
“Once Chelsea Douglas hit a couple of threes, Wake Forest started feeling it and we played too fast,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “I don’t care how much we are ahead, we just have to settle in and take care of business until the buzzer sounds. I thought we got a little bit too relaxed in playing in the offensive end. We started turning the ball over a little too much. I am glad we hit our free throws and the ball was in the hands of the people who needed to be shooting down the stretch.”
Senior guard Kelsey Wolfe (Germantown, Md.) led the Cavaliers with 18 points, going 6-of-13 from the field and 6-of-6 from the line. Junior center Sarah Imovbioh (Abuja, Nigeria) scored nine points with 10 rebounds. Senior guard Lexie Gerson scored seven points with six rebounds and five steals.
Hamby, the ACC’s leading scorer, paced the Demon Deacons with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Douglas scored 15 points with three assists.
Wake Forest held the early lead in the low-scoring first half with Virginia taking its first lead of the game on a pair of Wolfe free throws with 10:42 remaining in the period, the start of an 8-0 Virginia run. The Cavaliers closed out the first half scoring seven-straight points in the final 2:15 to take a 27-16 lead into the break.
The Demon Deacons pulled within seven, 29-22, with 18:20 left in the game, but the Cavaliers went on an 8-0 run to regain control of the game. Freshman forward Sydney Umeri (Acworth, Ga.) went on a tear midway through the period, scoring six points in a span of 1:42 to help the Cavaliers build their largest lead, 41-24 with 13:06 remaining.
A pair of three-pointers from Douglas flanked a 10-0 Wake run that cut the Cavaliers’ lead to 47-41 with 6:28remaining with a layup from senior guard Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) ending the streak.
The Demon Deacons, who were 0-of-10 from the three-point line in the first half, went 5-of-12 from long range in the second half to fuel their comeback.
The Demon Deacons cut the lead to two, 56-54, after an and-one by Hanby with 1:29 remaining. Sophomore guard Faith Randolph (Derwood, Md.) answered by scoring on a floater giving Virginia a 58-54 lead with 37 seconds remaining before Hanby’s three made it a one-point game. Franklin, Wolfe and Randolph combined to go 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the final 23 seconds while the Cavalier defense didn’t allow a good look for the Wake shooters on the opposite end of the court to secure the win.
The Cavaliers were 15-of-19 overall from the stripe in the game.
The Cavaliers took four charges in the game and had 11 steals, forcing 20 Wake turnovers while only turning the ball over 13 times.
The Cavaliers return home to host Clemson on Sunday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. The Clemson game will also feature a pregame youth sports festival held in the men’s basketball practice court at John Paul Jones Arena. The festival will include seven sports stations for youth to visit, including basketball, field hockey, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, and volleyball. The festival will take place from 12:30-1:45 p.m. Youth completing all seven stations will receive a complimentary t-shirt. Admission to the festival is free with a game ticket.
There will also be activities for youth set-up in the main lobby of the arena starting at 12:30 p.m., including a sign-making station, face painting, a balloon artist, and inflatable games.
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 Mondaythrough 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).
Single-game ticket prices for all 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. Family Packages are available for $11 each and include a reserved ticket and a concessions voucher valued at $8. A minimum of four tickets must be purchased to receive package pricing.
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