UVa. women’s hoops losing skid continues with OT loss to Wake Forest

uva-logo-new2The UVa. women’s basketball team dropped its fourth straight game, falling 73-68 in overtime to Wake Forest.

In a game with five lead changes and 12 ties through the end of regulation, Virginia’s Jaryn Garner (Fr., Sewell, N.J.) grabbed a rebound off a Wake Forest missed shot with 30second left in the second half, giving the Cavaliers the final possession in a 60-60 game. Virginia had three shot attempts in the final six seconds, but couldn’t get one to fall, sending the game into overtime.

“The plan was to get to the basket and score, but also try to draw the foul,” said Virginia guard Ataira Franklin. “We fought hard and got a couple offensive boards, but weren’t able to connect.”

In the extra period, Virginia trailed 64-60 when a layup from Simone Egwu (Sr., Odenton, Md.) followed by a three-pointer from the top of the arc from Faith Randolph (Fr., Derwood, Md.) gave UVa a 65-64 lead with 3:01 left in the extra period. Wake Forest’s Sandra Garcia made a layup with just over two minutes remaining to put Wake back in the lead. A three-pointer from Lakevia Boykin with 23 seconds left in the game gave Wake a 71-66 advantage.

Sarah Imovbioh (So., Abuja, Nigeria) made a layup with four seconds left in the game, but Wake hit a pair of free throws to seal the 73-68 victory, giving the Demon Deacons their first victory in Charlottesville since 1978.

“It was a battle,” said head coach Joanne Boyle. “A lot of credit to Wake Forest. I think they finished the game. That’s been our Achilles heel- we’re still trying to figure out how to [finish games]. I’m proud of our kids’ fight, but we need to figure out how to be smart down the stretch.”

Imovbioh had a career night, pulling in a career-high 18 rebounds while also scoring 18 points. The 18 rebounds is the highest single-game total for a Cavalier player this season. Imovbioh also had a career-high five steals.

Imovbioh was one of three Cavalier players to post a career high in the game. Garner scored a career-high 10 points. Point guard China Crosby (Sr., New York N.Y.) had a career-high nine assists with eight points and two rebounds.

The game started with six ties and a pair of lead changes before Wake Forest, which started the game making 9 of its first 13 field goal attempts (69.2 percent), edged out into the lead.

The Cavaliers trailed 22-20 after a steal from Imovbioh set up a fastbreak layup from Ataira Franklin (Jr., Bowie, Md.) with 7:23 left in the first half. The Demon Deacons pushed the lead out to 27-20 before Imovbioh battled down low to score a layup with 3:29 left in the first half. Virginia added four free throws, including a pair from Jazmin Pitts (Jr., Mosely, Va.) to cut the deficit to one, 27-26, with 1:39remaining.

After the two teams traded turnovers, Wake’s Sandra Garcia pulled up for a jumper just outside the lane with 3.8 seconds left in the half to send the Deacons into the break with a29-26 lead.

Crosby tied the game, 31-31, on a three-pointer with 17:39 left in the game. Wake’s Garcia answered 20 seconds later with a layup. After Wake had built a five-point lead, a three-pointer by Franklin got the Cavaliers to within a point, 36-35. An Imovbioh layup with 15 minutes left in the game put the Cavaliers up, 37-36, giving Virginia its first lead since the 16:30 mark of the first half. Virginia added three more points after Crosby grabbed a loose ball, finding Garner racing up the court. Garner scored the basket and drew a foul, making the free throw to put Virginia up 40-36.

After Wake Forest knotted the game at 44, Crosby dished the ball into the low post, finding Imovbioh to put UVa up 46-44 with 11:18 left in the game.

After Wake took a 54-53 lead, Franklin pulled up for a jumper from the left side, putting Virginia back up by a point with 4:41 left in the game.

Wake would twice tie the game, with UVa edging back out ahead both times before Garcia’s layup knotted the game at 60 with 1:20 left in the game.

Virginia was 19-of-24 from the free throw line in the game, but missed two free throws in overtime, including the front end of a one-and-one while trailing by a point with 1:36 left in the overtime. Wake came up with the rebound and used the ensuing possession to score a bucket and extend its lead to three, 68-65.

Imovbioh scored four points with six rebounds in the first five minutes of the game. She finished the first half with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Franklin scored 15 points with five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a blocked shot.

The Cavaliers were playing without forward Telia McCall (Sr., Marietta, Ga.) who missed her second straight game recovering from a concussion.

With the loss, Virginia falls to 15-12 (7-9 ACC). Wake Forest improves to 12-16 (5-11 ACC).

The Cavaliers will travel to NC State to take on the Wolfpack on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C. Virginia closes out the regular season by hosting No. 24 Florida State on Sunday, March 3 at 1 p.m. The Florida State game will be broadcast on the ACC Regional Networks and will be “Senior Night” with a special pregame ceremony honoring the Cavaliers’ graduating seniors.


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