Women’s basketball: Virginia downs Clemson, 70-41, wins seventh straight
The Virginia women’s basketball team (11-6, 4-0 ACC) picked up a 70-41 victory over Clemson (10-6, 0-3 ACC) on Sunday (Jan. 7) at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.
Virginia used an 11-0 run at the end of the second quarter to build up a 33-20 lead at halftime. Clemson narrowed the gap to single digits, 35-26, with 7:49 remaining in the third quarter, but the Cavaliers mounted a 15-2 run to take back control of the game. Virginia outscored the Tigers 20-10 in the fourth quarter to close out the victory.
With the win, the Cavaliers improve to 4-0 in ACC play for the first time since the 2000 season when the team started ACC play with nine-straight wins. The Cavaliers have won seven games in a row for the first time since the 2011-12 season when they won all seven games they played in the month of December.
“I am just excited about the win and the 4-0 start to ACC play,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “The energy that the girls have had, just working hard each game and just really trying to focus on being in the moment as well as staying in the moment each and every day is what has gotten us to this point.”
The Cavaliers had four players finish the game in double figures with sophomore guard Jocelyn Willoughby (East Orange, N.J.) scoring a team-high 16 points. Sophomore center Felicia Aiyeotan (Lagos, Nigeria) had her fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds, also blocking four shots.
Clemson’s Alexis Carter came off the bench to score a team high 12 points.
Virginia started the game on an 8-0 run, converting four of its first five shots. The Cavaliers built up a 16-5 advantage on a jumper with 4:12 remaining in the quarter. The Cavaliers hot shooting went ice cold, with UVA making just one of its final 10 attempts of the period. The Tigers took advantage, scoring eight unanswered points to cut the Virginia lead to 16-13 at the end of the first.
Aiyeotan reignited the UVA offense, making a hook shot to start the second period. A three-pointer from Willoughby with 2:34 remaining snapped an 0-of-9 shooting streak from long range and fueled an 11-0 Cavalier run that culminated in back-to-back steals and fastbreak layups in the final 25 seconds of the half. Virginia led 33-20 at the break.
Clemson had a quick start to the second half, opening the third quarter on a 6-2 run, cutting the deficit to 35-26. Back-to-back three pointers from sophomore guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) and Willoughby in a 56 second span extended the UVA lead back out to 15, 41-26. The Cavaliers converted six straight field goal attempts in the midst of a 15-2 run. The Tigers committed six turnovers in a span of 4:30 in the third quarter and trailed 50-31 heading into the third quarter.
The Cavaliers shot lights out in the fourth quarter, starting the period 6-of-8 from the floor, building up a 68-39 advantage. The Cavaliers shot 58.3 percent in the second half, including going 5-of-8 (62.5 percent) from three-point range.
Virginia held a 36-30 edge in rebounding. The Cavaliers shot 50.0 percent (28-of-56) while the Tigers went 19-of-50 (38.0 percent). UVA forced 19 turnovers, scoring 24 points off the miscues.
Virginia plays back-to-back road games next week, traveling to Boston College (6-9, 1-1 ACC) on Thursday, January 11 and No. 17 Duke (11-4, 0-2 ACC) on Sunday, January 14 for a 3 p.m. game against the Blue Devils that will be broadcast on ESPN2. The Cavaliers return home on Sunday, January 21 when they host Virginia Tech (12-3, 1-1 ACC) at 12:30 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.
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 open Monday 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).