Women’s basketball: Virginia defeats NJIT, 81-54
The Virginia women’s basketball team (6-3, 0-0 ACC) earned an 81-54 victory over New Jersey Institute of Technology (2-5, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) on Saturday (Dec. 5) at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.
Virginia used multiple scoring streaks, including a 15-2 run in the first quarter and an 11-3 run to start the third quarter, to snap a three-game losing streak and earn their sixth victory of the season.
Sophomore Lauren Moses (Mt. Holly, N.J.) had the second double-double of her career, scoring 14 points with 11 rebounds. It was also the first double-double by a Cavalier this season. Three other UVA players finished the game scoring in double figures including sophomore Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) with 17 points, going 7-of-10 from the field, also grabbing six rebounds with four assists.
NJIT’s Kelly Guarino scored 24 points, going 7-of-16 from three-point range. The rest of the Highlanders combined to go 2-of-10 from long range. Virginia was 8-of-20 from three-point range.
“It feels good to get back on track and get a win at home,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “We were able to play multiple people and work on some things today that we hadn’t been able to do. NJIT’s shooter, Kelly Guarino, got loose a couple of times. We were trying to press, but I don’t think we did a good job taking care of her so we tried to do a better job in the second half. Overall, it was a good win for us. Rebounding, having a lot of assists, sharing the basketball, all of those things make us a better team. It is not something we can just pick and choose. We have to do it every game.”
Back-to-back three-pointers from Huland El and sophomore Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) started Virginia’s 15-2 run in the first quarter that turned a 7-7 game into a Virginia 22-9 lead. Guarino hit a buzzer-beating three pointer at the end of the quarter, getting fouled as she made the shot to close out the period with a four-point play and a nine-point lead for the Cavaliers.
Virginia got the lead back up to double-digits, 25-15, on an and-one from junior Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) two minutes into the second quarter, but NJIT made it a five-point game, 27-22, on a three-pointer midway through the period. A jumper from senior Faith Randolph (Derwood, Md.) halted the Highlanders’ run. The Cavaliers built the lead back up to 13 before Guarino hit a three-pointer to end the first half, with the Cavaliers leading 37-27 at the break.
After a three-pointer from Guarino two minutes into the third quarter cut the lead back to single digits, 39-30, a three from Randolph started a 9-0 run that gave Virginia an 18-point lead, 48-30, with 4:55 remaining in the period.
NJIT was not able to chip away at the deficit, with redshirt sophomore J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.) giving Virginia its first 20-point advantage on a three-pointer with 7:41 remaining in the game. Virginia took its largest lead, 79-51, on a layup from sophomore Jae’Lisa Allen (Pine Bluff, Ark.) with 1:11 remaining, but Guarino drained her seventh three of the game to cut it back to a 25-point game. Allen answered with a layup on the opposite end. Guarino took one final three-point shot, with Huland El corralling the rebound and dribbling out the clock to give the game its 81-54 final.
UVA shot 50.8 percent (33-of-65) overall and was 18-of-32 (56.3 percent) in the second half. NJIT shot 37.7 percent (20-of-53) overall. Virginia held a 39-29 edge in rebounding.
The Cavaliers have one more home game before breaking for finals, their Field Trip Day when UVA hosts Bowling Green on Tuesday, Nov. 8 with a special 11 a.m. tip time. Virginia will return to action after finals on Friday, Dec. 18 when it hosts Charleston Southern 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).