Virginia can’t hold early lead, falls to #4 NC State, 66-43
Virginia got out to a nine-point lead in the first quarter, but a 20-1 run by fourth-ranked NC State put the Wolfpack in control on their way to a 66-43 win over the Cavaliers on Thursday night.
Grad student guard Amandine Toi led UVA (3-10, 0-3 ACC) with a 14-point performance, with 12 of those points coming in the second half.
Elissa Cunane had a double-double for the Wolfpack (15-2, 6-0 ACC) with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Cunane scored NC State’s first six points, giving the Wolfpack an early 6-2 advantage, but the Cavaliers went on a 13-1 run to build up a 15-6 lead with 1:36 left in the quarter.
NC State ended their scoring drought with three free throws before snapping an 0-of-12 shooting spell with a layup from Jada Boyd with 3.7 seconds remaining in the quarter.
The Wolfpack added to the 5-0 run that ended the first by scoring the first 10 points of the second quarter. After junior forward London Clarkson hit one free throw at the 7:04 mark, the Wolfpack added a pair of free throws with a three-pointer from Kai Crutchfield capping the run and making it a 26-16 advantage for the Wolfpack.
Grad student guard McKenna Dale made the Cavaliers’ lone field goal of the period with 2:55 remaining in the half. Virginia went into the break trailing 29-20.
The Wolfpack kept up the pressure at the start of the second half, scoring the first six points of the period before Toi hit her first three of the game with 5:28 left in the third, making it 36-23. Toi hit a second trey with 49 seconds left. The Wolfpack took a 47-27 lead into the final period.
The Cavaliers started the final period by making their first three field goal attempts, including a layup from sophomore guard Kaydan Lawson with 7:26 remaining in the game. The Cavaliers went on an 8-0 run midway through the period with a layup from grad student center Eleah Parker cutting the deficit to 55-41 with 4:09 remaining.
NC State scored six points in a 90-second span to push their advantage back to 21 heading into the final two minutes of the game.
“We started off the game being really intentional and being specific about what we were doing and kind of sticking to schemes,” Virginia coach Tina Thompson said. “We had a lull in that second quarter that dug a little hole for us and from that point on it was a little tough for us to get out of it. Our execution was not great offensively and against a team like NC State, the number four team in the country, you have got to be able to score, you can’t just get stops. I thought we played well defensively for a good amount of time. But with getting stops, you also have to be able to score, to put pressure on them as well and we didn’t do that consistently tonight.”