Jan. 12, 2014
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Faith Randolph has rarely seen a shot she doesn't think she can make, and when the ones she takes are falling, the offensive lift she gives Virginia can make them dangerous to even top-flight teams.
Second-ranked Notre Dame got a look at that on Sunday as Randolph made 10 of 17 shots, scored a career-high 23 points and had the Cavaliers on the verge of an upset before they fell short, 79-72.
"We put our best athlete on her but that didn't help at all," Notre Dame coach, Muffet McGraw, said, referring to Jewell Loyd. "We actually had a plan for guarding her that we didn't follow.
"Boy, when she gets hot there's really no stopping her."
The loss came at the start of a stretch of four consecutive games against ranked teams for the Cavaliers (8-8, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), and coach Joanne Boyle came away greatly encouraged.
"We've been young, and our youth is maturing," she said, noting the when Notre Dame started the second half with an 8-2 run, stretching its lead to 51-38, the Cavaliers showed themselves something but not letting the Irish run away.
"It's a testament to the team," Boyle said of the rally that made it a close game to the finish. "They just feel like they're always going to be in a game. That's what games like this do for you."
The Cavaliers next play at No. 3 Duke and then host No. 18 Florida State and No. 6 Maryland, and forward Sarah Imovbioh said she hopes to see more of the same from Randolph, the Cavaliers' sixth man.
"I know she's going to bring that energy, that intensity, and she will drive really hard to the basket," Imovbioh said after scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds against the taller Irish.
For Notre Dame (15-0, 3-0 ACC), Natalie Achonwa scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, Kayla McBride added 23 points and five assists and Loyd scored 17.
The Cavaliers were coming of a victory at Virginia Tech in which they rallied from 17 points down to win, but couldn't quite repeat the feat despite getting within 71-69 with 3:49 remaining.
That's when McBride and Achonwa took over, scoring the game's next six points.
Virginia was outscored 20-8 at the free throw line and outrebounded 47-39.
Notre Dame led 43-36 at halftime and seemed poised to blow the game open with it opened the second half on an 8-2 run to go ahead 51-38. Achonwa had five points and Loyd hit a 3-pointer, but after a timeout, Virginia got three consecutive baskets from Randolph to begin a stirring comeback.
The Irish rebuilt their lead to 61-51, but an 11-4 run by Virginia pulled them within three. Randolph had five points in the burst fed Ataira Franklin for another basket to get the Cavs within 65-62.
Three times the Irish scored to stretch their lead to five, and each time Virginia responded. finally getting the margin down to 71-69 on Imovbioh's free throw with 3:49 remaining. Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, Imovbioh missed her first two free throws on the trip before Franklin rebounded the second.
With its lead smaller than its had been since late in the first half, Notre Dame got a tough driving basket from McBride, rebounded a Virginia miss and got two free throws by Achonwa, and then followed a turnover by the Cavaliers with Achonwa's inside basket, extending the lead to 77-69 with 1:14 left.
The game was close throughout the first half. Virginia led 25-24 with 6 1/2 minutes left until the Fighting Irish went on a 15-7 run that featured three consecutive jumper by McBride. Michaela Mabrey finished the burst with a 3-pointer, giving Notre Dame a 39-32 lead, and it was 43-36 at the half.
Achonwa had 11 points, 10 rebounds and three assists by halftime.
Ellis Rewarded for Relentless DriveFootball8/31/16Redshirt sophomore Jordan Ellis was his teammates' choice as the player most deserving of the No. 1 pick in the selection of jersey numbers.'Hoos Eager to Take First StepFootball8/29/16At 3:30 p.m. Saturday, against Richmond at Scott Stadium, Bronco Mendenhall makes his debut as Virginia's head football coach.Change Marks New Era at Scott StadiumFootball8/28/16University of Virginia football fans will notice many changes in the team's first season under head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
Director of News Content
A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
Virginia Women’s Basketball 2016-17 Season Tickets On ...
W. Basketball | 8/1/2016
Season tickets for the 2016-17 Virginia women’s basketball season are on sale now.
Jeff White: Moses Seizes Chance to Broaden Horizons
W. Basketball | 7/29/2016
Virginia's top returning post player, junior forward Lauren Moses, has had an eventful summer...
Andrew Landers Named Video Coordinator
W. Basketball | 7/8/2016
Andrew Landers joins the Virgina women's basketball staff as the video coordinator.
Jeff White: Taylor Back in Familiar Surroundings
W. Basketball | 7/1/2016
Five years after leaving UVA, Tim Taylor has returned this summer. He's one of two new assistants...
Jeff White: Towering Center Boosts Frontcourt
W. Basketball | 6/21/2016
The Cavaliers' four freshmen include 6-9 Felicia Aiyeotan, a native of Nigeria who graduated from...
Graham Named Assistant Women's Basketball Coach
W. Basketball | 6/20/2016
Katherine Graham, who was an assistant coach last season at Western Kentucky and went to the...
Tim Taylor Named Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach
W. Basketball | 06/14/2016
Virginia women's basketball head coach Joanne Boyle announced the hiring of Tim Taylor as an...
Virginia Travels to Northwestern in 2016 ACC/Big Ten Challenge
W. Basketball | 05/25/2016
The Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten announced on Wednesday (May 25) the matchups for the...
- Online Stores