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Women’s basketball: Virginia earns 68-39 victory over Bowling Green

uva womens basketballThe Virginia women’s basketball team (7-3) earned a 68-39 victory over Bowling Green (4-4) on Tuesday (Dec. 8) in an 11 a.m. game at John Paul Jones Arena.

Playing in front of  an announced crowd of 10,048 fans, including over 7,300 students and teachers from 40 area elementary and middle schools, the Cavaliers earned their seventh victory of the season in front of the third-largest home crowd in UVA women’s basketball history.

The Cavaliers went on a 37-9 run spanning the second and third quarters to break open a 17-12 game.

Bowling Green committed 24 turnovers in the game, including 15 in the first half, with the Cavaliers converting the miscues into 28 points. In addition to grabbing 10 steals, the Cavalier press forced three 10-second violations while Moses took two charges in the post.

“This was a really fun game and a fun atmosphere,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “We went in with a simple game plan, not running a ton of different stuff, so they knew what we were going after and were able to recognize the defenses and call things on their own. We have figured out that part of our identity is that we can play a lot of people, especially with our length and our athleticism, and we are able to press more, and go eight or nine people deep with our press. These things get us energized. The girls did a great job forcing turnovers. I’ll also give credit to all of the kids in the stands screaming and making noise in our favor.”

Senior Faith Randolph (Derwood, Md.) and sophomores Aliyah Huland El (Randolph, N.J.) and Lauren Moses (Mt. Holly, N.J.) each scored double-digits in the first half, combining to contribute 33 of Virginia’s first 34 points. Moses finished the game with her second-consecutive double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Huland El, who started the game making four of her first five field goal attempts, finished with 14 points. Randolph scored 14 points with seven rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) scored 10 points, all in the second half.

Bowling Green’s Carly Santoro came off the bench to lead her team with eight points in 16 minutes on the court. Lauren Tibbs scored six points with a team-high eight rebounds.

After the lead changed five times in the first quarter, Virginia went on a 7-1 run to close out the first period, taking a 17-12 lead on a three-pointer from Huland El.

Another three from Huland El with 7:01 remaining in the half gave UVA a 23-15 lead, but a layup from Ashley Tunstall put the lead back to six points with 6:42 remaining. It was the last basket that the Falcons would make in the half while the Cavaliers went on a 15-0 run, going into the break with a 38-17 lead.

Virginia scored the first seven points of the second half, taking a 45-17 lead before Tibbs made a jumper with 7:13 remaining in the quarter, ending a 9:29 scoreless drought. Moses gave Virginia its first 30-point edge on a jumper with 5:13 left in the third quarter.

Virginia took its largest lead of 38 points, 68-30, on a free throw shot from redshirt sophomore J’Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount, N.C.) with 1:49 remaining in the game, but the Falcons scored the final nine points of the contest to finish with a 29-point deficit, 68-39.

It was the first time that Virginia had held an opponent to under 40 points since a 66-23 victory over Norfolk State on Dec. 28, 2012.

Virginia shot 41.0 percent (25-of-61) while holding Bowling Green to 27.3 percent shooting (12-of-44). UVA held a 46-31 edge in rebounding.

“There was just a lot of work that’s gone on behind the scenes with the girls going out to all the schools to really drum up the excitement about what was going to happen,” Boyle said of the third-ever home Virginia women’s basketball game to top 10,000 in attendance. “Everyone has done a great job behind the scenes getting it all organized. I’m glad we were able to play a good game out there and that the kids got behind us. What a great event it was for them and we just appreciate their voices in there because it was a fun game to play in.”

Virginia will take a break for finals before returning to action 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).