Women’s basketball: Virginia rallies to win at Wake Forest, 52-50

virginia basketballThe Virginia women’s basketball team (12-5, 2-1 ACC) erased a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to earn a 52-50 victory at Wake Forest (9-7, 0-3 ACC) on Sunday (Jan. 10) in Winston-Salem, N.C.

After trailing most of the game, the Cavaliers outscored the Demon Deacons 10-3 in the fourth quarter, including a pair of game-deciding free throws from junior Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) with 16 seconds remaining, to earn the road victory.

“It is always a battle when we come down here,” said Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle. “We didn’t play our best basketball, but coming down the stretch in the last four minutes Mikayla (Venson) was just trying to get us any basket she could and Breyana (Mason) settled down and really attacked the rim and was poised at the free throw line. I thought we rebounded at the very end the way we needed to and we defended well down the stretch.”

Sophomore Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) scored 20 points, her fifth 20-point game of the season, going 3-of-8 from three-point range and 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Sophomore Lauren Moses (Randolph, N.J.) scored 10 points with six rebounds.

Wake Forest’s Elisa Penna had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Virginia shot 29.8 percent (14-of-47) while Wake went 19-of-44 (43.2 percent). The Demon Deacons held a 37-26 advantage in rebounding.

The Demon Deacons started the game making seven of their first eight field goal attempts while the Cavaliers made just one shot, a three-pointer from Huland El, in their first seven attempts. Virginia clawed back, going on a 7-0 run to end the quarter and headed into the second period trailing by just two, 17-15.

A three-pointer by Venson with 1:39 remaining in the half gave the Cavaliers a brief 28-27 lead, but Amber Campbell converted a layup with 53 seconds remaining to put Wake back ahead. The Cavaliers forced a Wake turnover with 14 seconds remaining, giving UVA a chance to take the lead before the break, but Venson got trapped by three defenders along the sideline and could not get off a shot before time expired.

After Wake extended the lead to 33-28, Virginia got back to within one, 33-32, on an and-one three-point play from Venson, but the Deacons answered with a five-point possession. Ariel Stephenson picked up a rebound off a missed shot and made a layup while driving through the lane. After a video review, Moses was called for a flagrant foul on the play with the Deacons making one of two free throws. Wake Forest hit a jumper with their bonus possession to push the lead back out to 38-32. The Deacons stole the ball right back and scored a layup on the fastbreak to take a 40-32 lead with 5:51 remaining in the third. The Cavaliers trailed 47-42 heading into the fourth quarter.

Wake Forest made its only field goal of the fourth quarter with 7:42 remaining, taking a 49-42 lead. A jumper from Mason two minutes later, followed by a steal and a pair of free throws from Venson cut the deficit to three, 49-46, with 2:41 remaining. Junior Sydney Umeri (Acworth, Ga.) hit a jumper with 2:14 remaining, the last basket either team would make in the game, to cut the deficit to one. After Wake Forest made one of two free throws to go back up by two, Venson was fouled and went to the line to make both free throws to tie the game.

The Virginia defense caused Wake to turn the ball over. Mason was fouled as she was driving toward the basket, converting two free throws to take a 52-50 lead with 16 seconds remaining. Venson grabbed a steal with five seconds remaining to secure the win for the Cavaliers.

Wake Forest turned the ball over 10 times in the fourth quarter, going 1-of-8 from the field and 1-of-6 from the free throw line. UVA was 2-of-10 shooting, 6-of-6 from the free throw line with five turnovers.

Virginia will be back in action at John Paul Jones Arena next Thursday, Jan. 14, hosting Louisville 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).



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