Women’s basketball: Rutgers hands Virginia first loss

uva womens basketballThe Virginia women’s basketball team (5-1, 0-0 ACC) suffered its first loss of the season, falling 60-48 to Rutgers (4-2, 0-0 Big Ten) on Friday (Nov. 27) at the Paradise Jam Tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Cavaliers trailed by just two points, 29-27, at the half, and tied the game 33-33 on a three-pointer from sophomore Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) with 6:34 remaining in the third quarter, but made just 5-of-26 shots in the remainder of the game (19.2 percent) to fall to the Scarlet Knights.

“It wasn’t a good outing for us,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “We battled in the first half. We were only down two. We came back out and gave them some easy looks in transition in the second half. We didn’t do a great job finishing tonight. We didn’t shoot the ball well and struggled on the free throw line. Lauren Moses had a good game.  She really came out and fought, really took it at them, was disruptive out there and really aggressive.”

Sophomore Lauren Moses (Mt. Holly, N.J.) scored a career-high 18 points, also grabbing seven rebounds. Sophomore Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) scored 10 points.

Rutgers Kahleah Copper scored 21 points, going 7-of-12 from the field and 6-of-9 from the free throw line.

In the first half, the Cavaliers forced 10 turnovers to keep pace with the Scarlet Knights. The two teams traded 6-0 runs in the first period to finish knotted at 13. Rutgers went up four, 29-25, on a three-pointer from Shrita Parker with 11 seconds remaining in the half, but Venson took the inbounds pass and went coast-to-coast with a fastbreak layup to keep the deficit at two, 29-27, at halftime.

Venson launched a three-point shot with the shot clock expiring to tie the game, 33-33, in the third period, the fifth tie of the game, but Rutgers responded by scoring seven-straight points and took a 42-37 lead into the fourth quarter.

Virginia got back to within two, 42-40, after redshirt sophomore J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.) started the fourth quarter making three (of four) free throws, but Rutgers went on an 11-2 run, with a hard-fought Moses layup the only score for the Cavaliers in that three-minute span, to take control of the game.

Rutgers shot 53.7 percent (22-of-41) while the Cavaliers finished at 28.8 percent (17-of-59). After shooting over 90 percent from the free throw line on Thursday, the Cavaliers were 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) from the stripe against RU. The Cavaliers forced 19 Scarlet Knight turnovers, scoring 19 points off the miscues. Rutgers held a 38-28 rebounding edge.

Virginia closes out the tournament on Saturday, Nov. 28, playing Tulane (3-3) at 1 p.m. ET.

Virginia’s next home game will be Wednesday, Dec. 2 when it hosts Iowa in the 2015 Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The game will also be Holiday Sweater Night when prizes will be randomly awarded to fans dressed in holiday sweaters.

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).

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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