#UVA women’s basketball finishes non-conference slate with a 72-66 win over Drexel

uva womens basketballThe UVA women’s basketball team (10-3) finished the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 72-66 victory over Drexel (6-5) on Monday (Dec. 29) in the final game of the 2014 Cavalier Classic Presented by Holiday Inn University Area.

“We were really disappointed with our performance yesterday, so we were just trying to regroup and find our way today,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “Ending our nonconference schedule with a win was a good feeling. We have some work to do before heading into ACC play, but it’s nice to sit here with a win.”

Senior center Sarah Imovbioh (Abuja, Nigeria) and junior guard Faith Randolph (Derwood, Md.) earned all-tournament honors. Imovbioh followed up her 21-point, 19-rebound performance in Sunday’s game by scoring 19 points against the Dragons, going 7-of-9 from the field, with nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. Randolph, who scored 15 points on Sunday, scored 12 points against Drexel, including hitting a pair of key three-pointers.

The six-player all-tournament team also included Hannah Early and Mackenzie Latt for Davidson, Courtney Larson for Miami, Rachel Pearson for Drexel.

In Monday’s early game, Miami (OH) held off a late charge by Davidson to earn a 59-58 victory. All four teams finished the two-day tournament with 1-1 records.

Drexel and Virginia battled early in the game with seven first-half lead changes. The Cavaliers started the game 4-of-4 from three-point range while the Dragons went 9-of-16 (56.2 percent) from the field in the first 10 minutes of the contest. The Cavalier defense took over in the second half of the opening period, with Drexel missing 12-straight shots and not scoring a field goal in the final 10 minutes of the half. Drexel’s drought continued through the first 4:26 of the second period with Virginia taking a 33-22 lead amid the Dragons’ shooting woes.

Drexel broke out of their shooting slump by making eight of its next 10 shots, pulling to within one, 44-43, with 8:34 remaining. Randolph hit a three-pointer on the opposite end to preserve the Cavalier lead. After getting the ball back by forcing a turnover on an attempted inbounds, Randolph hit a pull-up jumper to extend the advantage to 49-43. Imovbioh got an and-one to cap an 8-0 Virginia run in a span of 1:19 and regain control of the game.

Drexel continued to threaten, however, pulling to within six with under four minutes remaining, but a three-pointer by freshman guard Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) pushed the UVa advantage back to nine. Virginia’s free throw shooting also helped seal the victory with the Cavaliers converting their final 14 free throw attempts in the game including going 6-of-6 from the line in the final 32 seconds.

Virginia had four players finish the game scoring in double digits. In addition to Randolph and Imovbioh, Venson scored 16 points with seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) scored 11 points with four rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.

Sarah Curran led Drexel with 15 points. Pearson, who had a 24-point game Sunday against Miami, scored 12 points with a pair of assists.

Virginia outrebounded Drexel, 38-25. Drexel committed 12 turnovers while Virginia made 17.

Virginia begins conference play at Virginia Tech on Sunday, Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. The Cavaliers will be back at home on Thursday, Jan. 8 when they host Wake Forest at 7 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 openMonday 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).

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