Women’s basketball: Virginia plays at No. 4 Louisville on Thursday
The Cavaliers will be facing a ranked opponent for the fourth time in the last six games after facing No. 5 Notre Dame last Thursday (Feb. 15), playing at then-No. 12 Florida State on Feb. 8 and hosting Louisville at John Paul Jones Arena on Feb. 1.
The Cavaliers are tied for sixth place in the ACC with Miami at 9-5, a half-game back of fifth-place Duke (10-5) and a game ahead of eighth-place Syracuse (8-6). Virginia is receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches’ poll for the eighth-straight week and are No. 35 in the RPI rankings. Louisville is tied with Notre Dame at the top of the conference standings.
The Cavaliers are coming off a 77-62 loss to Miami on Sunday. Sophomore guard Dominique Toussaint (Staten Island, N.Y.) flirted with a triple double by scoring 18 points with nine rebounds and seven assists, while also grabbing four steals. It was her third 18-point performance of the season and one point shy of matching her career high. Toussaint has scored in double figures in each of the last four games, averaging 14.0 points per game in that span. Toussaint also picked up her 100th assist of season against the Hurricanes. She currently ranks 12th in the ACC in assists per game (3.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.28). In conference games, she has a 1.5 assist-to-turnover ratio, ranking fifth in the ACC.
Freshman guard Brianna Tinsley (Madison, Va.) scored a career-high 13 points against Miami, with 12 of those coming in the first half. Tinsley’s previous high was a 10-point performance against UNC. Tinsley went 4-4 from three-point range, matching the Cavaliers’ top three-point shooting game of the season.
Sophomore center Felicia Aiyeotan (Lagos, Nigeria) was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field against Miami. Aiyeotan nearly had her third double-double in four games against the Hurricanes, but came up short with nine points and eight rebounds.
Louisville picked up a pair of road wins last week at Boston College (87-52) and at North Carolina (67-57) after falling 69-58 at UConn on Monday (Feb. 12). In Sunday’s game at North Carolina, the Tar Heels held a 45-42 lead with 53 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Asia Durr made two 3-pointers as part of a 9-0 spurt to give the Cardinals a 51-45 lead early in the fourth quarter. Louisville pulled away with a 12-2 run down the stretch, getting two 3-pointers by Arica Carter.
The Cardinals lead the all-time series against the Cavaliers, 6-2, and are 6-1 in ACC games.
Virginia closes out the regular season on Sunday, February 25, with a 3 p.m. game at Wake Forest (12-15, 4-10 ACC) before heading to the conference championship. The 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament is being held Feb. 28-Mar. 4 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.